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Latrobe glitters for Holly Jolly Christmas

Joe Napsha
| Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012, 8:58 p.m.

The holiday season in downtown Latrobe will be celebrated Saturday with food, fun activities for children and plenty of shopping from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the third annual Holly Jolly Christmas event.

For Leigh Gaul, owner of Chicora's on Depot Street, which sells home accessories and gift items, the event is special because it falls on the first anniversary of the store's opening.

“It's a great way to bring people into downtown Latrobe,” Gaul said of the event sponsored by the Latrobe Community Revitalization Program.

The Latrobe Art Center at 819 Ligonier St. will be a center of activity. It will have children's activities, food and an artists market featuring 15 artists selling their watercolors, woodwork, jewelry, quilts and pastels.

Students from Christ the Divine Teacher School's Select Chorus in Latrobe will be singing Christmas carols throughout the city.

Entry forms to win gift baskets on display at the art center also will be available on event flyers.

The entry forms — one entry per person — can be dropped off at the art center on Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. At that time, participants will be given a sheet of discount coupons listing participating merchants.

“The fliers will drive shoppers all over town,” Gaul said.

The special event to get people to shop in Latrobe is part of a larger, nationwide initiative during the past two years to get shoppers to purchase some of their holiday gifts from small, locally owned businesses.

Small Business Saturday was held on Nov. 24, sandwiched between what the retail world calls Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving — and Cyber Monday — the push for online shopping purchases.

The event is a collaboration between the National Federation of Independent Businesses, a Nashville-based organization promoting small businesses, and American Express.

Small Business Saturday is the most important shopping day of the holiday season for 36 percent of independent retailers, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

The average holiday shopper will spend about $750 on gifts, decorations and other holiday expenses, according to the National Retail Federation in Washington.

Estimated holiday expenditures are 4.1 percent higher than last year, increasing to $586 billion this holiday season, the federation said.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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