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Oakmont to kick off season with Hometown Christmas tree-lighting, parade

| Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, 12:03 a.m.
Santa will ride in the parade before heading to the Oaks Theater Nov. 17 to hear Christmas wishes and pose for photos.
Luke Kutilek
Santa will ride in the parade before heading to the Oaks Theater Nov. 17 to hear Christmas wishes and pose for photos.
A kettle corn vendor whips up a batch of the tasty treat at the 2017 Hometown Christmas celebration in Oakmont.
Luke Kutilek
A kettle corn vendor whips up a batch of the tasty treat at the 2017 Hometown Christmas celebration in Oakmont.
Crowds line Allegheny River Boulevard to watch the annual Hometown Christmas parade, scheduled for 5 p.m. Nov. 17.
Luke Kutilek
Crowds line Allegheny River Boulevard to watch the annual Hometown Christmas parade, scheduled for 5 p.m. Nov. 17.
Holiday tree lights will brighten Oakmont’s annual Hometown Christmas parade and celebration Nov. 17.
Luke Kutilek
Holiday tree lights will brighten Oakmont’s annual Hometown Christmas parade and celebration Nov. 17.

Oakmont will hold its annual Hometown Christmas parade and celebration Nov. 17.

Organized and sponsored by the Oakmont Chamber of Commerce, the free annual event marks the start of the holiday season in the borough, according to Karen DeTurck, executive director of the chamber.

This will be the first official holiday celebration for DeTurck in her new position, which she assumed in July.

Plenty to do

She said a full schedule of special activities is planned during Hometown Christmas, set for 4 to 8 p.m. Nov. 17. There will be a 50/50 drawing, Chinese auction, food vendors and local stores participating. A highlight of the festivities will be the traditional Christmas tree-lighting ceremony.

The annual parade featuring 17 or more civic organizations and businesses, floats and Santa Claus will run from 5 to 6 p.m., starting in Oakmont and ending in Verona.

Before the parade kicks off, entertainment at 4:30 p.m. on the stage along Allegheny River Boulevard will feature a dance troupe from Kelsey’s Dance and Fitness Center and St. Irenaeus Preschool carolers. At 6:15 p.m., Redeemer Lutheran School will offer a musical performance.

At 7 p.m., the winner of the chamber’s annual float contest will be named, followed by a performance by Riverview High School Jazz Band.

David Johnston of WPXI will be the parade’s grand marshal, DeTurck said.

Following the parade, Santa will be stationed at the Oaks Theater, 310 Allegheny River Blvd., taking Christmas gift wishes and posing for photos.

Joe Wichryk II, the Oaks Theater’s manager and program director, said that along with Santa, the theater will have snacks for sale at its light-fare kitchen and homemade “adult hot cocoa” made with chocolate vodka available for sale at the bar.

The Oaks’ House Band 8mm Christmas Jam Night will offer holiday music from 7 to 11 p.m. Local musicians may sign up to play Christmas music or just hang out and listen, Wichryk said.

Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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