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Santa spends the day in Steel Valley, the evening in Elizabeth

| Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, 1:21 p.m.

Santa Claus paraded through the Mon Valley on Saturday, spending the afternoon with Steel Valley friends and ending the night with a light-up celebration in Elizabeth.

The Historic Steel Valley Christmas Parade brought hundreds of spectators to Eighth Avenue as emergency vehicles, floats and performers made their way through West Homestead, Homestead and Munhall at noon.

Darrah McDermott, who stood along Eighth Avenue holding her 11-month-old son Piers, wanted him and his four older siblings to experience a big event in their community.

“We wanted to see our neighborhood parade,” McDermott said. “We just moved here, so this is our first time. I love the trolley and the marching band. I have fond memories of being in the Christmas parade in my hometown.

Children who lined the Steel Valley thoroughfare in all three boroughs were most excited to catch candy tossed to them by the marchers and floats.

“I love the candy,” 9-year-old Chance Edwards of West Mifflin said. “It makes it fun.”

His cousin Elliott Rudolph, 6, of Homestead, enjoyed being part of a lively crowd.

“I love saying ‘hi' to all the nice people,” Elliott said.

In Elizabeth, families enjoyed a day packed with activities, including two performances of “The Nutcracker” at the Grand Theater and crafts in the former Elizabeth Elementary cafeteria. Bundled in warm layers of winter coats and blankets, they lined Second and Third streets after nightfall for a parade and tree-lighting ceremony featuring Kenny Kangaroo.

“We've always wanted this to be at night,” event co-chair Lynn Terbey said. “It's not fun to see lights during the daytime. What better way to be festive?”

The Miller family of Lincoln said they were excited to try something new. They were in town all evening.

“There's something about tonight that's magical,” Vanessa Miller said.

Noelle Andrison of Glassport brought her 4-year-old daughter Haylee.

“When I was a kid, everything was at night,” Noelle said. “It brings back memories for me, and it's making new memories for her.”

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1956, or jvertullo@tribweb.com.

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