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News Briefs: SF, Oakland zoos decorate for the holidays

by Cynthia Laird

The Oakland Zoo will be decked out for ZooLights beginning December 7. Photo: Courtesy Oakland Zoo
The Oakland Zoo will be decked out for ZooLights beginning December 7. Photo: Courtesy Oakland Zoo  

Oakland Zoo is set to go big this holiday season with its annual ZooLights special event.

ZooLights runs nightly, from 5 to 9 p.m., beginning Friday, December 7, through January 6. It will be closed December 24-25.

Guests can ride the festively-lit gondolas up to the Landing Cafe, which will be open for the first time during ZooLights, for dinner and other holiday fare while enjoying spectacular Bay Area views at 650 feet above sea level.

Also new is a Winter Wonderland attraction, where kids can visit Santa in his workshop.

ZooLights features colorfully lit animal-themed structures that are situated throughout the zoo with Music in Motion, a laser-light show attraction each evening choreographed to popular holiday music. It is a family-oriented evening filled with traditional holiday activities.

Admission is $10 for adults and $9 for children. Parking is free. Oakland Zoo members receive a $1 discount.

The zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road. For more information, visit http://www.oaklandzoo.org.

The San Francisco Zoo will also have ZooLights, from 5 to 8 p.m. December 14-16, 18-23, and 26-30.

It will also have special lighted displays, and people can visit Santa's reindeer. Peppermint, Belle, and a new young male calf arrived last month and people can see them through January 1.

There will be strolling carolers and tasty seasonal offerings.

Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for children age 4-14. Kids 3 and under are free. There is no admission for zoo members and guardians. Parking is $10.

The zoo is located at Sloat Boulevard and the Great Highway. For more information, visit http://www.sfzoo.org.

Breed announces Civic Center holiday events
San Francisco Mayor London Breed has announced several upcoming holiday events in Civic Center and City Hall.

Family weekends will be held December 8-9, 15-16, and 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Civic Center. There will be free kids games and activities, including face painting and photos with Santa Claus.

The Mayor's Holiday Fair will take place Sunday, December 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Attractions in Civic Center Plaza will be complemented with activities inside City Hall, including photos with Santa, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa festivities, and a view of the City Hall tree inside the rotunda.

As previously reported, the Winter Park at Civic Center Ice Rink is now open from noon to 10 p.m. daily through January 6.

For more information, visit https://www.civiccentercommons.org/2018-holiday-season-in-civic-center-commons/.

Historical society talk
Historian Jim Van Buskirk, Jack Collins, and Carol Seajay will talk about their lives in the 1970s and 1980s and the role of books in building the lesbian and gay and feminist movements Thursday, December 6, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the GLBT History Museum, 4127 18th Street in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood.

In an email promoting the event, titled "We Built a Movement from Books," Seajay wrote that for her, women's bookstores played an important part of the movement. Van Buskirk focused on making queer space available in libraries, and Collins taught gay and lesbian literature classes in the Castro under the auspices of City College of San Francisco.

"Three different yet connected ways to shatter the silences about our lives and fuel our movements," she wrote.

Admission is free for GLBT Historical Society members and $5 for non-members. For tickets, visit https://bit.ly/2QHklZF.

Finn Town benefit for REAF
Castro eatery Finn Town will hold a benefit for the Richmond Ermet Aid Foundation Tuesday, December 11, from 5 to 10 p.m. at 2251 Market Street.

The restaurant will be serving up steaming bowls of Cioppino for $30 per person and donate 10 percent of all food and drink sales to REAF. The nonprofit, which holds the popular "Help is on the Way" concerts, supports programs for HIV, youth, and hunger in the Bay Area.

Complementing its version of San Francisco's famous fisherman's stew, the tavern will offer "Nonna style" bibs with salad and garlic bread included in the price.

Raffle prizes, with all proceeds going to REAF, will include gift cards, specialty wines from the Finn Town cellar, and instant San Francisco celebrity status via a specialty cocktail named after the lucky winner that will be on Finn Town's menu for a month.

Camp Fire benefit
A benefit for the victims of the Camp Fire will be held Wednesday, December 12, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the San Francisco Columbarium, 1 Lorraine Court.

Presented by You're Going to Die, a nonprofit that brings diverse communities creatively into the conversation of death and dying, "Love, Loss, and Fire — A Camp Fire Benefit" will feature Bobby Jo Valentine, Chelsea Coleman, Scott Ferreter, Morgan Bolender, and other performers.

Donations of any amount are requested. For more information, visit https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3909391.

Film screening in Mountain View
The LGBT aging film "Gen Silent" will screen Thursday, December 13, at El Camino Hospital's Mountain View campus, 2500 Grant Road.

The event, which is free, starts at 9:30 a.m. and includes the documentary, a discussion panel, and lunch and networking.

Space is limited. Those interested in attending can register by calling 1-800-216-5556 or visiting www.elcaminohospital.org/gensilent.

Openhouse seeks artists for 'living wall' mural
Openhouse, a San Francisco nonprofit that provides services and housing for LGBT seniors, has announced it is seeking artists to create a mural as part of its "living wall" project to honor long-term HIV/AIDS survivors.

The agency received a $250,000 grant from Gilead Sciences to build a living wall and mural in its new community center that is under construction at 95 Laguna Street. The center will occupy the first two floors of the new LGBTQ-welcoming affordable senior housing. Six of the 79 apartments will be set aside specifically for long-term survivors of HIV.

Tez Anderson, a gay man who founded Let's Kick ASS (AIDS Survivor Syndrome), serves on Openhouse's living wall tribute steering committee, which will identify a local artist to integrate an original mural into the permanent living wall installation.

Openhouse Executive Director Karyn Skultety, Ph.D., a bisexual woman, said the organization is seeking artists living with HIV to apply for the mural commission.

Interested artists who have experience in painting large murals can contact Charles Renfroe at (415) 702-3536 or crenfroe@openhouse-sf.org. They can also stop by Openhouse's offices, which are located in the Bob Ross LGBT Senior Center at 65 Laguna Street.

The mural and living wall are expected to be completed next spring, when 95 Laguna Street is scheduled to open.

Contact the reporter at c.laird@ebar.com.

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