through Dec. 24 Santa is waiting for you at the Shops at Willow Lawn and he has a special gift for all those who get their picture taken. Monday to Saturday, noon-7 p.m. Sunday, 12:30-5:30 p.m. Dec. 3, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 24, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 1601 Willow Lawn Drive. 282-5198.
through Dec. 31 The IMAX Nutcracker enchants viewers at the Science Museum of Virginia. Watch your favorite Christmas characters from the sugar kingdom come to life on the gigantic screen. 2500 W. Broad St. Call 367-6552 for times and prices.
through Jan. 1 The Barksdale Theatre presents the holiday musical "Ella and her Fella Frank" by Randy Strawderman. Tickets are on sale now. The Shops at Willow Lawn. 282-2620.
through Jan. 7 The Elegba Folklore Society's show and sale, Heritage Holidays, features historic and contemporary crafts. 101 E. Broad St. 644-3900.
through Jan. 3 The Planetarium Theater of the Virginia Living Museum presents "Star of Wonder." A peninsula tradition since 1965, "Star of Wonder" retraces the steps of the Magi by recreating the skies over Bethlehem from 2000 years ago. Show times: Mon.-Fri., 3:30 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Planetarium admission $2.50. Newport News, Va. (757) 595-1900.
24 - Dec. 19 Scandals, by Ralph Allen, is ThreatreVirginia's holiday presentation this year, and it's their biggest production ever. This production is the world premier of Allen's play, starring Dick Van Patten. $21-$40. Tickets on sale now. 353-6161.
25 The Annabel Lee Riverboat holds a Thanksgiving cruise with Santa Claus, featuring a special buffet, caroling and holiday music, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-6:30 p.m. $28.95 adults; $16.95 children. 644-5700 for reservations.
26 - Dec. 31 Woodlawn Plantation opens its holiday exhibition "Christmas with the Presidents," Christmas memorabilia and ornaments from White House residents Bush, Reagan and Clinton. The mansion also is decorated with memorabilia on loan from several presidential libraries. Candlelight tours are Nov. 26-27, and Dec. 5, 12, 19 and 26, 6-8 p.m. Registration required. $10. This year's holiday theme for Frank Lloyd Wright's Pope-Leighey House is "A World War II Christmas." Greenery, lights, toys and seasonal items are featured from the 1940's. $6 adults; $5 children, seniors. The Christmas Teas take place Dec. 4, 5, 11 and 12, noon and 2 p.m. Registration required. $20. 9000 Richmond Highway on the grounds of Woodlawn Plantation. (703) 780-4000.
26 - Dec. 24 The Legendary Santa is coming to downtown Richmond. Santa, Snow Queen and the elves arrive in classic Santaland the day after Thanksgiving and stay through Christmas Eve in the former Thalhimers building with an entrance on the second floor of the 6th Street Marketplace. Rest assured that the chimney is in working order for Santa's daily arrival and departure. Regular Santaland hours will be: Opening day and all Saturdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays, noon-5 p.m. Weekdays through Dec. 17, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 20-23, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Christmas Eve, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Bring the family for breakfast or lunch with Santa and his special guests on the 6th Street Marketplace bridge. The Santa Hotline is 644-2933.
27 - Dec. 24 The Annabel Lee Riverboat holds Saturday lunch cruises with Santa Claus, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Enjoy a special lunch buffet, caroling, holiday music and your own personal visit with Santa. $20 adults; $16.95 children. 644-5700 for reservations.
27 & 28 The Concert Ballet of Virginia presents The Nutcracker at The ACCA Temple, 1716 Bellevue Ave. This is the first of three local venues for the Concert Ballet's performances. Additional presentations will be: Sat. and Sun., Dec. 4 and 5, at Atlee High School, Atlee Station Road in Mechanicsville; Sat. and Sun., Dec. 11 and 12, at the Woman's Club Auditorium, 211 E. Franklin St. Curtain times are the same for all three locations -- Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sundays 2:30 p.m. $15 adults; $12 seniors, students and children. 798-0945.
28 Celebrate Advent Sunday at The Episcopal Church of St. Andrew with the 30th annual choir office of Advent Lessons and Carols, featuring the Baroque Trio, directed by James Moore with flutist Kathleen Watts, 5:30 p.m. at the corner of South Laurel Street and Idlewood Avenue. 648-7980.
28 - Dec. 31 A Colonial Christmas takes place at Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center. Catch a glimpse of holiday practices from the 17th and 18th centuries. Admission to both museums is $14 for adults; $6.75 for children ages 6-12. Closed Christmas and New Year's days. Combination tickets available with Colonial Williamsburg as part of the "Colonial Holiday" package. (888) 593-4682.
29 The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart hosts "Holiday Festival of Music," a benefit concert for Catholic Charities, with the Richmond Symphony and Choirs of the Cathedral, conducted by Patrick Carlin, 7:30 p.m. 20 N. Laurel St. $25. 359-5651. The annual tree lighting at The Jefferson takes place when characters from "The Nutcracker," Sir James, Snow Bear, Santa and others parade down the staircase of The Jefferson Hotel, 6 p.m. and the giant tree in the rotunda is illuminated. CHEER, a troupe of dancers, closes the ceremony. Franklin and Adams streets. 649-4627.
30 - Dec. 2 Maymont's annual Wreath Workshops transform Maymont's Assembly Hall into a wreath-making shop. Sign up for one of the workshops and learn to create a gorgeous Maymont wreath of your own. Nov. 30, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2, 9 a.m.-noon and 6-9 p.m. $15. Registration required. 358-7166, ext. 310.
The Air Force Band Holiday Concert "Wintertime" takes place 7:30 p.m. at Richmond's Landmark Theater. The 65-member band and 24-voice chorus of "The Singing Sergeants" present a concert the entire family can enjoy. The event is free, but tickets are required and must be reserved through the box office, 780-4213. (Sold out)
The Wizard of Oz on Ice comes to the Richmond Coliseum. Watch Dorothy, Toto and friends make their way down the yellow brick road of ice. Nataliya Ivannikova of Ukraine stars as Dorothy. For information on tickets and performance times call 780-4970.
1 - 30 Thousands of tiny twinkle lights transform Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden into a winter fantasy-land during the Gardenfest of Lights, 5:30-10 p.m. The first illumination takes place Thursday, Dec. 1, 5:30 p.m. Display runs Sundays through Thursdays, with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas. Regular garden admission is charged: $4 adults; $3 seniors; $2 children. Gift shop and house open to 9 p.m. 1800 Lakeside Ave. 262-9887. Robins Tea House serves holiday dinners with a view of the lights and the lake. Reservations suggested. 553-0401.
1 - 31 Music at Midday, a holiday tradition at The Jefferson Hotel, features 50-minute performances by local school choral and string groups on selected weekdays at noon. Free. Call 649-4627 for individual performance dates.
2 St. Joseph's Villa celebrates the holiday with its annual tree lighting ceremony and reception, 5:30 p.m. More than 2,000 lights are illuminated on the 40-foot tree that stands beside the chapel at the entrance to the villa. Children perform a selection of holiday songs. Cookies and punch are served in the administration building following. Free. 553-3225.
The Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary hosts its Spirit of Christmas Auction and Luncheon. Among auction items, bid on a handmade and fully furnished Victorian doll house. Proceeds support Salvation Army programs. Show starts at 11 a.m. in the grand ballroom of the Crowne Plaza, 555 E. Canal St. $30. Reservations requested by Nov. 24. 266-3857.
The 9th annual Preview Gala for the Junior League's 24th Christmas Collection of The Bizarre Bazaar features a viewing of Princess Diana's Red Cross dress, a silent auction and craft displays from 440 exhibitors, 6-9:30 p.m. at $25 ticket price benefits the Junior League's programs for families at risk. The Bizarre Bazaar begins Dec. 3, 10 a.m. on the Fairgrounds at Strawberry Hill. 643-4886.
3 See the winter wonderland glow warm. It's the Grand Illumination of the James Center, 6-8 p.m. in Downtown Richmond. Cary St. between 10th and 12th streets. 344-3232.
Gerardo Edelstein conducts The Richmond Symphony and the symphony chorus when they perform seasonal favorites during the annual Let It Snow concert, 8 p.m. at the Carpenter Center. Tickets $13-$40. 262-8100 or 788-1212.
3 & 4 Join Patrick Henry High School for their Christmas Madrigal Dinner, a roast beef dinner with wassail toasting, festivities and merrymaking with the King's court, 7 p.m. in the commons area. A concert of traditional carols and madrigals follows the feast. Tickets are $15 per person, available at the school or Cross Brothers grocery in Ashland. 12449 W. Patrick Henry Road. 752-6023, ext. 347.
3 - 5 Don't miss the Junior League's 24th annual Christmas Collection of The Bizarre Bazaar at the Fairgrounds at Strawberry Hill, which benefits the Junior League's programs to help families at risk. This popular event features crafts and displays of 440 exhibitors. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Adults $5; children $1.50. 643-4886.
3-12 Henrico Theatre Company presents a holiday spoof on "A Christmas Carol." Performances are 8 p.m. except Sundays, 2:30 p.m. at the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. 2880 Mountain Road. $4-$6. 501-5138.
3 - 19 Theatre IV's Family Playhouse production is The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, a story about the merry antics that occur when a good Nativity play goes bad. Barbara Robinson adapted this family comedy from her book of the same name. Directed by Robin Arthur. Opens Dec. 3, 10:15 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the Empire Theatre. 114 W. Broad St. $14-$16. Call 344-8040 for complete times and tickets.
4 Christmas in the Country is the theme for a tour of six historic Powhatan County homes, sponsored by The Woman's Club of Powhatan, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $10. Call 598-2618 for tickets and information, 794-8992 for tour lunch reservations.
The Holiday Boutique at Collegiate School takes place with local crafts vendors, 9-3 p.m. 330-5780.
The Chesterfield County 250th Anniversary Celebration continues with Christmas through the Ages, a Christmas family celebration featuring children's crafts, pictures with Santa Claus and other family activities, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 777-9663 for more information.
Cathedral of the Sacred Heart presents a Christmas Concert. Patrick Carlin conducts with guest musicians, 8 p.m. at 20 N. Laurel St. 359-5651. Donations accepted.
The 15th annual Ukrop's/Retail Merchants Association Christmas Parade features holiday floats, marching bands, huge balloons and, of course, Santa, 10:15 a.m. from DMV on Broad St. to 5th St. 559-6113.
In this year's production of Handel's Messiah, Gerardo Edelstein conducts the Richmond Symphony and James Erb conducts the Richmond Symphony Chorus, 8 p.m. at the Carpenter Center. Tickets $9-$34. 262-8100 or 788-1212. Pamplin Park puts on a Civil War Christmas, with living history interpreters, caroling, children's activities and a holiday concert by the Virginia State University Choir at 1:30 p.m. The museum store offers an assortment of books, toys, games and more for holiday shoppers. Regular admission $10. Children 6-11 admitted free with two canned goods or toy (today only). 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (804) 861-2408.
The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen hosts a Christmas Tree lighting, featuring a choir concert and appearance by Santa, 4:30 p.m. 2880 Mountain Road. Free. 261-6214.
The Chesterfield County Historical Society hosts its Annual Christmas Open House, with carriage rides, reenactors and old St. Nick, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Magnolia Grange, the 1917 Courthouse, the Chesterfield County Museum and historic jail. Local garden clubs have designed the live decorations. The event is free and open to the public. 777-9663.
5 Look back at Reflections of Christmas Past: St. John's Old and Historic District House Tour, Church Hill's annual Christmas tour of ante-bellum-era houses, noon-5 p.m. A vespers service follows at St. John's Church with a candlelight walk through the neighborhood. Walk ends at Libby Hill Park with caroling and a pageant. Advance $10 tickets available at Very Richmond, 644-3613, or day of tour at WRVA, $15. 225-9560.
Ring in the holiday spirit with the Bovis Jingle Bell Run & Walk for Arthritis. Hundreds of runners and walkers tie jingle bells to their shoelaces and speed through Innsbrook. This is the annual nationwide fund-raising event for the Arthritis Foundation. Join in the 5K run or 3K walk. Registration begins at noon at the Innsbrook picnic area. Awards ceremony follows. $25. Call 359-1700 for team challenge information.
The Christmas in Ashland Tour of Homes is the highlight of a day-long Christmas celebration in Ashland that includes live music, a book signing and many other activities, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Hanover Arts and Activities Center. Tour begins at 2 p.m. 500 S. Center St. $10. 798-2728.
Christmas At Paxton allows visitors an opportunity to tour an 1820s plantation home and grounds listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 1-5 p.m. $5 donation benefits Richmond Friends of the Homeless. 794-3010.
Richmond Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities presents the annual production of Amahl and the Night Visitors, a musical by Gian Carlo Menotti, 4 p.m. Landmark Theater. Free. 780-8137.
Escape the crowds and frustrations of the holidays with a trip to the 1890s at A Victorian Christmas at Maymont. All of your Victorian Christmas favorites are here -- steaming wassail, ginger cookies, glowing Yule logs, strolling carolers and visits with Father Christmas. Enjoy activities like the in-house tour and carriage rides. The 41st annual Candlelight Ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free, but guests should sign up for house tours and carriage times upon arrival as capacities are limited. Noon-6 p.m. 1700 Hampton St. 358-7166.
Gerardo Edelstein conducts The Richmond Symphony and the symphony chorus for the second performance of the annual Let it Snow, a concert of seasonal favorites at the Carpenter Center, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets $13-$40. 262-8100 or 788-1212.
5 - 12 GE Financial Assurance Holiday Village opens for visits with Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolf and Santa's helpers. Other life-size storybook characters entertain and greet guests, 2-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Other hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6-8 p.m. Sunday, 2-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Free and open to the public. 6610 W. Broad St. in the Brookfield complex. 281-6699.
5 - 30 The Historic James River Plantations' Christmas in the Country gets under way. The collection of historic plantations and taverns located in Charles City along Route 5 are fully decorated for Christmas and feature a variety of holiday events in addition to scheduled tours. Take a candlelight tour, hear a performance of Christmas music, listen to a dramatic reading or enjoy a progressive dinner. For complete details of special holiday events call 1-800-704-5423.
6 The 6th annual Advent Service of Lessons and Carols at St. Michael's Episcopal Church takes place, 7:30 p.m. at the corner of Rockaway and Mcrae roads in Bon Air. 272-0992.
Holiday Tea and Tour Berkeley Plantation and the Coach House Tavern Through the 31st, the afternoon begins with a tour of Berkeley's 1726 manor house. Learn about Christmas celebrations in the 18th century, with holiday stories and decorations of fresh greenery from Berkeley's gardens. A traditional English tea follow, and enjoy pastries and tea sandwiches served by staff in Colonial dress.
7 The Jewish Community Center and Chabad Lubavitch of Virginia present the annual A Hanukkah Celebration, featuring, arts and crafts, donuts, light sticks, chocolate Hanukkah gelt and cool Hanukkah posters. Be there when the 2000 JCC Maccabi Games torch arrives to light the 25-foot Menorah at Lubavitch Center, 5-7:30 p.m. 5403 Monument Ave. Free. 288-6091.
Jingle All the Way is the Henrico Pops Chorus and Community Band concert at the Glenn Allen Cultural Arts Center, 7:30 p.m. Free. 501-5115.
8 Signing Santa for hearing-impaired children or children of hearing-impaired adults comes to the Shops at Willow Lawn, noon-4 p.m. 1601 Willow Lawn Dr. 282-5198.
9 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts begins the holiday season with a performance by children's author, songwriter and poet Barry Louis Polisar, 4 p.m. in the auditorium. Free. 367-8148.
The Holiday Family Open House takes place in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Center for Education and Outreach. Event includes a visit with Santa, holiday music, ornament making and the lighting of the museum's holiday tree. 6-8 p.m. Free. 367-8148.
9 & 10 At the Holiday Wreath Workshops at Historic Hanover Tavern, learn to make boxwood wreaths and trees for Christmas. Thursday wreath making, 6:30 p.m. Friday wreath making, 10 a.m. Friday tree making, 1 p.m. All workshops $23.50 including supplies. Wreath and tree package, $40. Call 537-5050 for reservations.
Dec. 9-17 Maymont by Moonlight, a glimpse of Maymont after dark, will put any sour puss in the Yuletide mood with a carriage ride, tour, carolers and refreshments, Thursdays and Fridays to Dec. 17, 6-8 p.m. $12 adults; $6 children 12 and younger. Registration required. 358-7166, ext. 329.
9-18 Applause Unlimited presents the Beatrix Potter Puppet Show as this year's Christmas show at the Valentine Museum. Performances run Thursdays and Fridays, Dec. 9, 10, 16 and 17, 10:30 a.m. Saturdays, Dec. 11 and 18 at 2 p.m. $6. Pre-payment required. 649-0711, ext. 318.
10 & 11 Stratford Hall Plantation holds its annual Christmas Candlelight Tour, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Great House re-opens at 4:30 p.m. for the candlelight tour. Costumed interpreters stroll the grounds while 18th-century plays. The Plantation Store is open 9 a.m.-8:30 p.m. (804) 493-8038 or (804) 493-8371. 10 - 22
The Richmond Ballet kicks off the first of 15 performances of the holiday classic The Nutcracker, 8 p.m. at the Carpenter Center. Join Clara and her friends in this annual presentation of Tchaikovsky's Christmas tradition. $36-$47. Special discount performances available, 359-0906, ext. 223. Tickets, 262-8100.
11 The Seventh Annual James River Parade of Lights dazzles down the river beginning at dusk. This lighted-boat parade cruises the James River from Richmond to the Varina-Enon Bridge. More than 20 boats are decorated with lights. Viewing areas are: the Dutch Gap Boat Landing and the 1611 Citie of Henricus in Chesterfield; and Osborne's Landing in Henrico. In case of inclement weather, event is held on Sunday. Free. 751-INFO, ext. 456.
Signing Santa comes to the Shops at Willow Lawn, noon-4 p.m. 1601 Willow Lawn Dr. 282-5198.
The North Richmond Family YMCA presents Kwanzaa 1999 Celebrate Family. Event features the Richmond Boy's Choir, the Jazz Actors Theater, the Latin Ballet Company and an African market. Also enjoy arts and crafts, music and food. Free. $5 donations accepted. Noon-6 p.m. 4207 Old Brook road. 329-9622.
12 The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks offers a Yuletide Fest at the Meadow Farm Museum. The event features costumed interpreters portraying Dr. John Sheppard's family on Christmas day in 1860, 1-4 p.m. 3400 Mountain Road in Glen Allen. Free. 501-5520.
Agecroft Hall's Annual Christmas Open House takes place, featuring a walk-through tour of an English manor decorated in the style of the 16th and 17th centuries, 12:30-5 p.m. More or Less Morris Dancers perform dances of the day in the courtyard, and refreshments are served on the lawn. Free. 353-4241.
The Historic Downtown Richmond Holiday Open House is held, noon - 5 p.m., with musical performances ,exhibits, entertainment, shopping and special activities offered at a variety of locations. Participants include the Valentine Museum, the John Marshall House, The Museum of the Confederacy, Library of Virginia, St. John's Church, the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia and the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site. 649-0711.
Wilton House Museum opens "An Imari Christmas at Wilton: the Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Leslie W. Rose, Jr." Christmas exhibit continues to Jan. 2. Adults $5; Students and seniors $4; Children 6 and younger free. 215 S. Wilton Road. 282-5936.
Take the kids to A Child's Christmas at Maymont for the sights and sounds of a Victorian Christmas, with a child's tour of Maymont House, a horse-drawn carriage ride and the making of a holiday craft to take home, 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. $12 per child; $10 for members. Registration required. 358-7166, ext. 324.
The Virginians Chorus and The Richmond Philharmonic give a Holiday Celebration concert to benefit the WRVA Alden Aaroe Shoe Fund, 4 p.m. at the Landmark Theatre. $17.50.
12 & 19 Tea With Santa brings out the best in every little person, 2:30 p.m. at The Jefferson Hotel. The jolly old elf pops in for a visit in the Rotunda. $17.50 per person. 649-4661. (sold out)
15 Signing Santa comes to the Shops at Willow Lawn, noon-4 p.m. 1601 Willow Lawn Dr. 282-5198.
The Montpelier Center for Arts and Education and the Page Memorial Library sponsor the 13th annual Candlelight Tour of Homes. This year's theme is "The Log Cabins of Upper Hanover County," featuring Spring Hill, Woodside Studio and others, 4:30-8:30 p.m. $12. The Montpelier Center is located at the intersection of Rt. 33 and Rt. 715. 383-7378.
18 Reveille Church invites the public to its Christmas open house concert, featuring the Reveille Chancel Choir, soloists, the Reveille Handbell Choir and the chamber orchestra, 6 p.m. 4200 Cary St. Free. 359-6041.
19 The 12th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration takes place, 1-10 p.m. at the Richmond Centre. This event is presented by the Ezibu Muntu African Dance Company and features activities and entertainment for the whole family. Free. 400 E. Marshall St. 225-9090.
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church welcomes all to its 68th annual Christmas Candlelight Service, featuring choirs, carols and readings, 5 p.m. Reception follows. 1627 Monument Ave. 359-2463.
21 The Holiday Big Band Concert with Bill Zickafoose and the Continentals celebrates the holidays swing style, with 1940s era classics, 8 p.m. at Hermitage High School. 8301 Hungary Spring Road. Free. 501-5115.
24 The 68th annual Nativity Pageant is presented on the steps of the Carillon in Byrd Park, 6 p.m. With choir, narrator and elaborate Nativity scene, this production has become a Richmond tradition. Admission is free and no tickets are required. 780-8137.
26 The Elegba Folklore Society presents the 1999 Capital City Kwanzaa Festival, 1-9 p.m. at the Arthur Ashe Center. This year's theme is "Lifting Up Our Souls," as the event will take place on the last Sunday of this century. A traditional procession and candle lighting ceremony precedes performances of gospel music, storytelling and African dancing. Also features workshops and children's activities. The guest speaker is Dr. Ishakamusa Barashango, Philadelphia author and lecturer on African-American heritage and contemporary life. Visit the African Market for imported clothing, jewelry, artifacts and books. Celebrate this seven-day year-end holiday that is a time of thanksgiving and renewal. Tickets $3-$5. Children 12 and younger free. 644-3900.
31 Millennium Eve at the Riverfront celebrates the coming century with the swing sounds of the James River Jazz Orchestra, carnival rides and midnight fireworks. No alcohol. 10 p.m.-midnight on Brown's Island. Free. 643-2826.
The Annabel Lee Riverboat hosts a Mardi Gras New Years Eve Cruise on the James, featuring a boat full of entertainment. They are planning a dockside party, open premium bar, Marky Bush doing his "Voices of the Century" show, full-dinner buffet, continental breakfast, two DJs, 8 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Call 644-5700 for tickets and information.
The Richmond Centre presents New Year's Gala 2000, a benefit New Year's Eve bash for Special Olympics Virginia, featuring Kings of Swing, the Skip Castro Band, Walter Bell and the Latin Jazz Unit, all-you-can-handle refreshments and midnight celebrations, 8:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Tickets for open seating are $95. Reserved tables also available. For information and tickets call
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