Although we certainly don’t want the Thanksgiving holiday to get lost in the shuffle, the Christmas season is already heating up with a series of events being planned in the next week or so in our area.

The Once Upon A Christmas gift and craft tour returns to the Knox area this weekend, Nov. 17-19, with more than 25 stops on the tour this year.

The event runs 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For complete details, visit knoxpa.com.

Also, Christmas events kick off in the coming days in both Clarion and Kittanning. Be sure to check out the full schedules inside today’s newspaper.

And looking ahead, the Redbank Valley Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Christmas parade in New Bethlehem on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 1 p.m. Snack with Santa will follow at the New Bethlehem Fire Hall.

Any community, church or group wishing to promote their public holiday events can submit them to us at news@tlv.comcastbiz.net.

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While we don’t really want to start seeing the snow fly, one special treat this year will be the sight of the newly painted PennDOT snow plows that will be on the roads.

Featuring artwork from students at area schools, the plows are part of a new initiative designed to better alert drivers to the need to proceed with caution around the heavy equipment.

And now you can vote for your favorite design in District 10’s Paint the Plow contest by visiting the PennDOT’s Facebook page and going to the District 10 Paint the Plow photo album.

Nine school districts participated in District 10’s first year of the program. Students from Armstrong School District, Leechburg School District, Butler Area Vocational Technical School, Clarion-Limestone School District, Keystone Area School District, Redbank Valley School District, Homer Center School District, Penns Manor School District and Brockway Area School District submitted their artwork.

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Tickets are now on sale for the annual Big Buck Contest, co-sponsored by the Redbank Valley Chamber of Commerce and the New Bethlehem Fire Co.

The cost is $5 per ticket, three tickets for $10 or a book of 10 tickets for $30. Tickets can be purchased through Nov. 26 at the chamber office, from local firefighters or at area businesses. The drawing will be held on Dec. 9 at 8 p.m.

For ticket holders who are hunting, deer weigh-ins will begin on Monday, Nov. 27 at the fire hall.

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Clarion University will present “Scary Musical the Musical” this week, Nov. 15-19, at Marwick-Boyd Little Theatre. Show time is 8 p.m. nightly, and parental discretion is advised.

The new musical is a send up of classic horror movies about high school students being terrorized by an unknown killer.

Tickets are $12 and are available online at www.clarionuniversitytickets.com/events/.

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The Redbank Valley Public Library is currently selling holiday wreaths for your Christmas decorating.

The cost is just $20 for these beautiful 22-inch wreaths, made with fresh evergreens.

A portion of the proceeds benefits the library.

You can place your order by Nov. 21 by calling the library at (814) 275-2870, or by stopping in at the library’s annual Shop, Look and Listen event this Saturday, Nov. 18, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Details about the event can be found in the library column on Page B-5.

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Don’t forget to “Take The L-V With You” on your fall and winter excursions this year, and submit your travel photos to us at news@tlv.comcastbiz.com.

We have already received a handful of photos from the last month or so, and will continue to collect the images through next summer — but we are especially interested in any fall or winter trips you have planned this season.

Just take along a copy of The Leader-Vindicator, pose with it at one of the stops on your trip, and send in your photo. We can’t wait to see where you take The L-V this year!

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