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Mingle with Kringle is meant for true believers – believers in sugar plums and reindeer and elves, but most of all believers in Santa Claus.

The Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation hosted its annual Mingle w/Kringle Saturday Dec. 8 at Rocket Hall on School Street in downtown Watkinsville. There were two sessions – one starting at 10 a.m. and one starting at 1 p.m. – each lasting about two hours. Admission to the event was a suggested donation of a child’s toy or $2 or free. Toys and all donations will be presented to Oconee Resource Council. There were crafts, entertainment, story time, a picture with Santa and an unbelievable children’s show.

A creative “happening” for children to celebrate the holiday season

  • Have pictures made with Jolly Old Saint Nick
  • Take part in creating crafts – gingerbread houses, Christmas tree ornaments, clothespin reindeer, and more!
  • Watch internationally renowned family entertainer Doug Berky’s 45 minute show – NO SHOW
  • Listen to storytelling readings with Mrs. Claus
  • Enjoy the unstructured creative activity of the building of the “Peaceful Village”

The event is a creative “happening” for children to celebrate the holiday season. Every year the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation hosts Mingle with Kringle as OCAF’s way of giving back to the children of Oconee County. OCAF feels it’s important that they give back in a way that is consistent with the arts. Children will be able to take part in creating crafts, gingerbread houses, Christmas tree ornaments, clothespin reindeer, and more, as well as take part in the completely unstructured creative activity of the building of the “Peaceful Village” from cardboard, paper, glue and a child’s imagination. In addition to the creative activities internationally renowned family entertainer Doug Berky will present a 45 minute show – NO SHOW – at each session, children can have their picture taken with Jolly Old Saint Nick, and Mrs. Claus will provide storytelling reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and “Latkes and Applesauce on Hanukah.”

All the admission fees and toys collected at the event will be donated to the Oconee Resource Council to be shared with less fortunate children during the forthcoming holidays. OCAF feels that children have a better understanding of the meaning of the season when they give in some small way to a less fortunate child. Last year Mingle raised over $850 in addition to the many donated toys.

Between 200 and 250 children attend Mingle with Kringle each year. For more information and reservations call the OCAF office at (706) 769-4565.

Mingle with Kringle is funded in part by the generosity of our members, sponsors and local businesses. If you would like to make a $5, $25 or $50 donation to help offset the cost please contact the office.

“NO SHOW” is a structured improvisation with audience interaction weaving together elements of mime, circus, masks and silent movie schtick. It is designed as a family show and is appropriate for all ages.

Doug Berky Bio

Doug Berky has been creating and evolving his own brand of physical theater for over thirty years. His original performances are an intricately woven fabric of Commedia Del Arte, physical comedy, mime, mask theatre, clowning, circus arts, and storytelling. Doug is known internationally for his mask construction. He designs and constructs the masks for his own performances as well as creating all of the sets, choreography, scripts and many of the costumes.

Doug began his professional training at the Dell’Arte School of Mime and Comedy in Blue Lake, California. He toured for eight years with established companies such as The Montanaro Mime Theatre, (South Paris, ME) The Two Penny Circus, (Barre, VT) and Sunshine Too, the touring theatre of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (Rochester, NY).

Doug has performed nationally and internationally in places as varied as Fletcher, NC and Matanzas, Cuba. He appeared in the award-winning NBC children’s television series, “See-Saw,” in Portland, ME, and in four television specials for Swedish National Television in Stockholm, Sweden. He has been the featured performer at events as diverse as The Eugene O’Neill Theater Cabaret Symposium and a national gathering of the National Council of Churches. Doug has performed and taught as Artist-In-Residence at numerous schools and colleges including schools for the deaf, The Commedia School (Copenhagen, Denmark), Roanoke College (Salem, VA), Furman University (Greenville, SC), and the University of Wisconsin, Racine.

As a mask maker, Doug has designed masks and puppet heads for numerous Shakespearean productions including “Midsummers Nights Dream” at Centennial High School, Franklin, TN, and The Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Nashville, TN, and “The Tempest” at Furman University, Greenville, SC. He has also designed Commedia Dell’Arte masks for a number of college and summer stock productions. Other mask design and constructions include professional ballet productions, music video productions, television production, individual performing artists, and his original theatre productions.

Doug has performed and taught throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe in schools, colleges, and festivals. He is known internationally for his design and construction of masks.