NEW BETHLEHEM – It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas — and if you spend any time this weekend in our hometown communities, you can’t miss the festive spirit as a number of holiday kick-off events are planned.
In New Bethlehem, the annual Christmas Parade and Snack With Santa will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7.
The parade will step off along Broad Street at 1 p.m. Any groups and marching units wishing to take part in the parade should contact the Redbank Valley Chamber of Commerce at (814) 275-3929.
Children and families are invited to the New Bethlehem Fire Hall following the parade for the annual Snack With Santa, where Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit with children and present goodie bags and a snack.
The events are hosted by the Redbank Valley Chamber of Commerce and the New Bethlehem Fire Department.
Can’t wait until Saturday to see Santa? Then head to Clarion this Friday as the Man in Red will be escorted down Main Street by the Clarion Fire and Hose Company. Santa will arrive in the Veterans Memorial Park at approximately 5:30 p.m., and will be in the park gazebo until 7 p.m. for visits and photos.
The Clarion County Commissioners will also be on hand for the official lighting of the Memorial Park Christmas Tree at 5:45 p.m.
In addition to Santa in the gazebo, Trinity Point Church of God will again bring back its Live Nativity at the park from 6 to 8 p.m.
Back on Saturday, Santa will make an appearance at the Sligo Presbyterian Church with special guests, “Paw Patrol.” The event’s two sessions are both already sold out.
After his time in Sligo, Santa heads on down Route 68 to East Brady for that evening’s “We Believe” Light Up Night activities.
During the “We Believe” event, Allegheny Hills Retirement Residence — located at 421 Kellys Way — will host a bake sale, rummage sale, $5 lunches and sales of Ice Jam Jam from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Mortimer’s Music and Antiques — located at at 304 Third Street — will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., offering antiques and collectibles for sale. Steele’s Brushes and Lushes — located at Suite 13 of the Arnold Beabout Community Center at 502 Ferry Street — will be hosting an open house, crafts and children’s activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A 50/50 raffle will be offered to benefit the East Brady Area Development Corporation (EBADC), with tickets on sale at Allegheny Hills Retirement Residence and at the Light-Up Night festivities.
This year Light-Up activities have been expanded to include the Farmer’s National Bank parking lot adjacent to the Veterans Memorial Park on Kellys Way.
From 4 to 5 p.m., coffee, hot chocolate, fresh popped popcorn and handmade cookies will be available. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by rescue boat, escorted by the East Brady Fire Company volunteers. The East Brady Baptist Church will be offering photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and treat bags will be provided by the East Brady Riverfest committee.
The highlight of the day will be the Light-Up festivities at the Veterans Memorial Park starting at 5 p.m. Welcomes from East Brady Borough Council president Barb Mortimer and the EBADC Master of Ceremonies will be followed by recognition of local veteran Vito DiPento. Christmas carolers from Mother Goose Christian Preschool and the First Presbyterian Church of East Brady will entertain as holiday trees and candles are lit. All are welcome to sing along and to enjoy the activities.
The fun carries over into Sunday as Santa visits Rimersburg for the Rimersburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Christmas event on Dec. 8 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Rimersburg Community Building.
Santa Claus will visit Rimersburg, and will be there for photos with the children. Hot dogs, chips and drinks will be provided.
Also this weekend, the Festival of Trees will return Dec. 6 and 7 to the Sawmill Center for the Arts in Cook Forest.
The event will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
The public is invited to stop in and enjoy 25 individual craft vendors, 60 market vendors, a robust Christmas tree display, Chinese auction and Christmas musical performers on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., along with ice carving from noon to 3 p.m.
A $2 admission fee will be collected at the door. All proceeds from the event benefit the Sawmill Center for the Arts, a non-profit organization.