PARAMOUNT OPEN HOUSE--As a benefit for the perennially righteous organization Northwest Harvest, which has been fighting hunger in Seattle since 1967, Seattle's gorgeous Paramount Theatre will open its doors and throw a party. Bring one item of nonperishable food and you'll be able to see the backstage, hear music, eat food, and participate in what they call "rock and roll Santa photos." Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St, 4-7 pm. Call Northwest Harvest at 625-0755 for more information.

FRIDAY 12/21

NORTHWEST VENTURE GROUP--Art Scheunemann, president and CEO of the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County, will deliver a presentation called "Looking Ahead to 2002: An Economic Vitality Agenda for Puget Sound." Scheunemann will be dressed in a clown suit, and throughout his presentation there will be lots of blinking multicolored lights and spontaneous whistles. Scheunemann has been in acrobatic training for this lecture as well, so expect cartwheels, back flips, and many fantastic stretches. Scheunemann will be a tip-top showman with plenty of jokes. DoubleTree Hotel, 300 112th Ave SE, Bellevue, (425) 746-1973, 6:30-9 am (for real!), $25-$35.


LIVE RADIO SHOW--Sandy Bradley and twins Greg and Jere Canote lead a troupe of musicians, readers, and sound-effect technicians in readings of (yet unannounced) radio plays. Audience members can become a part of the show too, and it will be broadcast on KBCS 91.3 FM at 1 pm. Museum of History and Industry, 2700 24th Ave E, 324-1126, 11 am, $15.

AUSTRALIAN CHRISTMAS--Bradley Howe, proprietor of the restaurant Kangaroo and Kiwi, moved from Australia to Seattle 10 years ago and misses the Christmas traditions from "Down Under." Today the restaurant will be exceedingly warm: There will be sand and beach chairs on the floor, there will be Australian food to eat, and for laughs there will be events like the "Board Shorts" fashion contest (surfboard shorts) and an Aussie meat-pie-eating contest. Admission is an unwrapped toy or cash donation to Toys for Tots. Next year, Howe should just go back to Australia. Kangaroo and Kiwi, 7305 Aurora Ave N, 297-0507, noon-8 pm.

HANDMADE GIFTS BAZAAR--There's nothing like giving a handmade gift for Christmas, but making them is a hassle! Here's the shortcut. The Bazaar, 1402 E Pike St, 10 am-8 pm.


MODEL TRAIN FEST--The Washington State History Museum has the largest permanent train layout in the state of Washington. For the next six days it will unleash its collection, making people rethink the specialness of the spiffy model train they received on Christmas Day. Jim Fredrickson will be on hand to sign his new book, Steam to Diesel, on Fri Dec 28 from 1-4 pm, and there will be a LEGO Christmas-train display for the kids. Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, (888) 238-4373. Call for admission price and hours.

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