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Uniontown plans holiday light-up night

| Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009

A cornucopia of events will surround the annual Light-Up Night in the city of Uniontown this year.

The theme for this year is "Light-Up Night -- All Aboard, It's Holiday Time in the City." The night will kick off with the annual parade beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday and then lighting of the 20-foot Douglas Fir Christmas tree provided by Cellurale's in Story Square with decorations provided by Neubauer's Flowers.

Santa Claus will be at the Fayette Bank Building and there will be choral groups and activities in the downtown area including something new -- the Holiday Train to town with rides at $6 per person by the Fayette County Railroad.

Many businesses will participate in the activities by staying open until at least 7:30 p.m. and will be offering specials and discounts throughout the night as well as throughout the season.

Donna Holdorf, executive director of the National Road Heritage Corridor and the promotions committee chairwoman for the light-up night, said a new activity this year that was conceived by the Main Street Program's Design Committee is A Festival of Trees.

Businesses in the area will purchase a tree and a nonprofit organization will decorate the trees, which will be voted upon.

"We had to cut it off at 10 trees because we were running out of room," Holdorf said. "So, that's a good problem."

The decorated trees will be competing for the best decorations. Voting will begin during light-up night and run through Dec. 12 in Storey Square. Visitors to downtown Uniontown for holiday shopping and events will vote on their favorite trees with their dollars.

All the nonprofits will receive half of the money in their voting box. The remaining funds will be used to support next year's decorations and events.

The winning nonprofit will receive an additional $200 grant from the Community Foundation of Fayette County.

After the holiday season, the nonprofit organizations will plant their trees either on their own property or in a city park or green space.

Returning this year as part of the light-up night festivities will be the popular fifth annual Magical Cookie Tour. It will be held 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 10.

The Magical Cookie Tour will be hosted by The Gift Peddlers in partnership with Commercial Center Associates, LLC in conjunction with the Downtown Business District Authority's Main Street Program.

Nonprofit organizations set up shop inside the business and sell cookies by the half dozen or dozen. The nonprofit keeps 100 percent of the proceeds from the sales of the cookies and are required to bake at least 50 dozen cookies this year in order to participate.

Holdorf said the maps for the cookie tour will be available sometime after Thanksgiving.

Magical Cookie Tour guides will be available beginning Dec.1, at the Gift Peddler as well as the Main Street Uniontown office at 65 W. Main St., Second Floor.

This year, the Main Street Uniontown Program wants to encourage the hundreds of cookie purchasers to shop and dine in downtown Uniontown by distributing a single coupon at every cookie stop that offers a discount to people making downtown their shopping and dining destination. The coupon would be good at all participating retailers and restaurants from Dec.10 through 20.

Additionally, if the shopper makes a purchase at five or more of the participating locations during that time, names will be entered to win a gift basket full of gift certificates and items from stores and dining establishments.

"Every year, the organizations are instructed to make a minimum of 50 dozen cookies," Holdorf said, adding that because people come from near and far for the cookie tour, it's best to come early. "By 7 o'clock, there's no cookies anywhere. It's quite competitive."

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