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Ligonier chamber preparing Diamond lighting

| Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, 1:48 p.m.
Sean Stipp | Trib Total Media
LIGONIER KEEPSAKE Kayla Tamer, executive assistant for the Ligonier Chamber of Commerce, hangs the 30th anniversary ornament on the chamber tree.

Santa Claus takes time from his busy schedule every year to make an early stop in Ligonier to light the way for the start of the Christmas season in the Valley. Generation after generation, parents wait with their children in anticipation of Santa's arrival on the Diamond, on the day after Thanksgiving.

A parade, led by members of the Ligonier Valley High School marching band and directed by Bethann Tricket, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday along East Main Street. Local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will join Miss Ligonier and her court and the Idlewild Trolley as they escort Santa in to town.

This year, Santa will make his appearance on a Misty Haven Carriage horse-drawn sleigh driven by Ernie Alwine.

Ligonier Mayor Ormond “Butch” Bellas and WJAC-TV news anchor Bill Brown will assist Santa as he officially flips the switch to light up the Diamond.

“It is always a pleasure to help Ligonier Valley welcome jolly old Saint Nick to town to listen to little girls' and boys' Christmas wishes,” said Bellas.

Miss Ligonier Rachel Allison, first-runner up Jiselle Bubin and second-runner up Gina McKlveen will join Santa in welcoming the holiday season into Ligonier.

After the lighting, children are invited to visit with Santa in the community room of Town Hall. Each year, the chamber prepares more than 300 treats for Santa to give to the children.

Vintage Christmas short features and cartoons, presented by Ron Adams of The Valley Ligonier radio station, will be showing in the Town Hall auditorium.

“We invite children and parents to enjoy the films while other members do some Christmas shopping,” sand Holly Mowrey executive director of the Ligonier Valley Chamber of Commerce, sponsor of the annual event. “Visit our shops and pick up a Christmas present or two.”

Every year merchants and businesses donate items for the merchant raffle window, displayed at Equine Chic, located on the Diamond near Town Hall.

“Get some ideas for your holiday shopping by feasting your eyes on the fine items donated by our merchants,” said Mowrey.

Misty Haven Carriage will offer sleigh rides following the lighting ceremony.

“Come out and join us. Make visiting Ligonier on Santa's Arrival Night a tradition for your family,” said Mowrey.

Deborah A. Brehun is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-238-2111 or dbrehun@tribweb.com.

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