PITTSFIELD — Plenty of caroling, dancing, clowning around and Santa Claus will entertain children of all ages Thanksgiving weekend at the Colonial Theatre — free of charge.

The 2nd annual Children's Holiday Extravaganza, set for Nov. 27, will be bigger and likely better attended than the inaugural two-hour event last year, organizers say.

Colonial staff and a 15-member citizens committee gave away more than 500 tickets in 2015, with their sights set on distributing 600 between now and show time.

"It was really wonderful last year to open the theater for a day and see so many people who never set foot in the Colonial," said Allison Rachele Bayles, administrative director of education for Berkshire Theatre Group.

Reminiscent of General Electric's Christmas parties for employee children decades ago, Kathleen Amuso felt the 2015 seasonal show struck a chord with the parents, grandparents and other adults who accompanied the youngsters.

"I don't know if they and our committee had a better day or the children," said Amuso, a lead committee member.

The extravaganza takes over the entire theatre, with "The Garage' performance space and lobby featuring the return of "Pocket Lady," Santa and Mrs. Claus, face painting, pizza, hot dogs and photo booth.

On the main stage, the chorus signers from the Colonial's production of "A Christmas Carol," the North Berkshire-based dysFUNKcrew dance group, Berkshire Bateria and new this year, Bowie the Clown. The first 400 children will receive goodie bags and once again 12 bicycles equipped with helmets will be built and raffled off courtesy of Berkshire Bank and Plaines.


All children must be accompanied by an adult and they are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for the food pantry at St. Joseph's Catholic Parish on North Street.

Contact Dick Lindsay at 413-496-6233.

If you go ...

What: Children's Holiday Extravaganza

When: Noon-2 p.m., Nov. 27

Where: Colonial Theatre, 111 South St., Pittsfield

Tickets: Free of charge by calling 413-997-4444 or visit the box office. Limit 6 per call/visit. Patrons are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to the show for a local food pantry.