‘The Nutcracker’ will run Dec. 1, 2, and 4 at the Spanos Theatre

ATASCADERO — On the evening of Saturday, Nov. 5, 115 patrons of the arts headed to the Atascadero Lake Pavilion for the North County Dance Performing Arts Foundation’s (NCDPAF) Nutcracker Gala Fundraiser. This year the Gala’s theme, as well as their upcoming production of “The Nutcracker,” is “Be Part of the Magic,” and what a magical night it was.

“It’s a really decadent event where people buy themed tables,” said NCDPAF Director of Development Carrie Wood. “So each themed table is based after a certain scene or a certain queen with really decedent decor.” 

The NCDPAF family banded together to decorate the different tables for the evening. The goal was to make them splendid and unique and to create something representing this year’s production of NCDPAF’s “The Nutcracker.” The table decorations did not disappoint.


“It’s really our only fundraiser that we do for ‘The Nutcracker,’ so it’s really important that we have community members come in and support that,” said Cheryle Armstrong, NCDPAF’s artistic director. “I call this whole project the best-kept secret in the North County. People just don’t know how hard the dancers and the parents work for this production.”

Lead dancers from 10 different dances in the ballet performed small vignettes from this North County’s upcoming Nutcracker production, giving the Gala’s attendees a taste test of what they can see in the future.

“We had some former Nutcracker Alumni dancers and dancer families that came to support the cause,” Wood stated. 

The evening also hosted a live and silent auction, with a production drive to update things like costumes, sets, and props for the production, which is celebrating its 26th year on the Central Coast. The auction featured many wonderful desserts from the crowd to bid on and catering by Pacific Harvest Catering Co. 

“We had a local auctioneer, Mackenzy Bailey [and her two spotter crew]. She’s from King City,” added Wood. “That was fun. She’s a female auctioneer, which is different, you know, so everyone got a kick out of that.”

All money raised at the Gala went directly back into the Nutcracker production to offset costs from buying new costumes to paying the choreographers, both local and from out of state.

“We raised about 20 percent of the overall cost of the 2022 Nutcracker production,” Wood continued.

For more information on the North County’s favorite Nutcracker ballet or to buy tickets to kick off the holiday season, go to nutcrackertickets.org.