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Holiday merriment to transform Market Street with kid-friendly activities

| Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, 1:51 a.m.
Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times
Snowflakes illuminate Kittanning Riverfront Park in anticipation of Light Up Kittanning Night on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013.

Light Up Night returns to Kittanning this Friday as children of all ages are invited to an evening of fun, courtesy of Downtown Kittanning Inc.

Months of preparation by DKI, an all volunteer group, are devoted to the transformation of the main avenue of Market Street.

“This is a wonderful, free event for the whole community,” says Dr. Ray Voller, a Kittanning dentist and president of DKI. “We gear everything towards the kids.”

This year, the list includes pony rides, a petting zoo, horse drawn wagon rides, face painting and the consumption of copious amounts of hot chocolate and cookies.

The closure of Market Street to anything on wheels faster than a work horse allows for a wide-open street fair feeling.

Holiday music will be performed by a variety of local musicians, primarily from the F&M plaza, on the corner of Jefferson and Market streets.

The festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. with a parade to kick start the holiday season. The parade marshal is, of course, jolly old St. Nick, who will bring up the rear, traveling up Market Street from Water Street to Grant Street and ending at the Rosebud Mining property.

Along the way, there will be a variety of food vendors and sellers of other treasures suitable for Christmas. Many established businesses will be keeping longer holiday hours and be open Friday evening.

This year's theme, “A Choo Choo Christmas,” will be evident in the store and business fronts of those who participate in the DKI sponsored contest for best holiday decor. The winner of this year's contest will be announced before the evening's end, and they will be awarded the “Stanley Cup” until next year's contest. Linda Pazzutto, DKI volunteer and executive director of the Armstrong County Chamber of Commerce, says, “We have a lot of fun with the contest. We usually get at least a dozen entries.”

Kittanning News will again host a local, published author for a book signing. Jeff Boarts will be in the spotlight, sharing his thoughts and signatures. Just published is his third novel, “Steel City Murder.” In this novel, Boarts gives readers a closer view of George and Ruth Cooper before they became the mystery solving duo of his previous books.

DKI is happy to have the funds to end the evening with a bang. Many local businesses were generous with financial support, and Pennsylvania American Water stepped forward as a full-fledged sponsor. Because of the response, the evening will end with fireworks to light up the night.

Diane Orris Acerni is a Leader Times correspondent.

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