Numerous events slated to kickoff the holiday season in style
It will begin to look a lot like Christmas after local municipalities host the following free holiday decorating events:
What: 29th Annual Holiday “Lite Up” Night
When: 4 to 8 p.m. Nov. 17; Mt. Royal Boulevard will remain closed the duration of the event.
Where: Shaler North Hills Library, 1822 Mt. Royal Blvd., and Shaler Area Middle School, 1800 Mt. Royal Blvd., Glenshaw
Shaler is revamping its annual Holiday “Lite Up” Night by creating a “mini-homecoming” atmosphere, according to Judy Kording, finance and administration director.
Santa will kick off the event at 4 p.m. by riding down Mt. Royal Boulevard in a fire truck as part of a parade. He then will light a tree at the Shaler North Hills Library.
Santa will visit with children starting at 5 p.m. His accompanying cast of holiday characters will meet for photos from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
The public will have the chance to skate for free on a synthetic portable rink that the township is renting from Wheeling, W.Va.-based All Year Sports Galaxy. The rink will feature music, lights and a snow machine.
Free skates will be provided and children may use walker-like skate aids to provide stabilization when learning how to skate.
Ice Creations owner Richard Bubin will carve two ice sculptures at 6 p.m. in the school courtyard.
School groups will sell food in the library parking lot.
Inside the cafeteria, children may decorate cookies, while supplies last. Families also will find balloon artists until 6 p.m. and face painters from 6 to 8 p.m. Some event sponsors will have booths.
Families may create crafts inside the library and cafeteria, Kording said.
Musical performances will include a jazz band from 4:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. and the Shaler Area High School Choir from 5:30 to 6 p.m.
Shaler commissioner and parks and recreation chairwoman Susan Fisher said that she and her colleagues hope to attract attendees from a variety of ages with this year’s expanded event.
“We’re trying to make Shaler a special place,” she said.
What: Etna Light the Night 2018
When: 6:30 p.m. Nov. 23
The event starts at 6:30 p.m. with Santa traveling by parade from Butler Street toward Elk Way. Children may visit Santa, his reindeer and Mrs. Claus, starting at 6:45 p.m. on Walnut Street.
Guests will find the Pine Creek Band, children’s games and a balloon artist at 7 p.m. at Calvert Memorial Presbyterian Church, 94 Locust St.
The Etna Volunteer Fire Department will hold a 7:30 p.m. open house and a bonfire at its Clarence Fugh Memorial Hall, 437 Butler St.
Throughout the night, guests of all ages may take free trolley rides throughout the business corridor and photos in a photo booth. There they also will find holiday sales, crafts, treats and entertainment from a bagpipe player and organ grinder.
Etna Manager Mary Ellen Ramage said that local businesses Primrose Flowers and Roadside Beer Distributor will sponsor a “Christmas Corner” at Parker and Washington streets, off Butler.
“Our trolley can take you from the main event down and back.”
The public may visit Calvert Memorial or Fugh Hall to complete holiday cards to send to troops serving overseas. Ramage said people may donate phone cards for the military personnel.
Calvert Memorial Presbyterian Church and First Congregational Church of Etna, at the corner of Locust and Walnut streets, will house warming stations and provide refreshments.
Zambelli Fireworks, launched from Dougherty Veteran’s Field at 9 p.m., will end the festivities.
In order to fund the free event, the borough is holding basket and 50-50 auctions. Ramage said four baskets contain holiday items. Another has two tickets to a Dec. 20 Pittsburgh Penguins game. Tickets, available at the municipal building prior to the event and on Walnut and Butler streets during it, are three for $1, seven for $2 and 20 for $5.
What: Millvale’s Yuletide & Holiday Drink Tour hosted by the Business Association of Millvale
When: Noon to 7 p.m. Nov. 24
Holiday revelers will start the day at noon by purchasing $15 drink cups and/or $5 stockings at the Millvale Volunteer Fire Department, 501 Lincoln Ave., with proceeds benefiting the department.
Guests will follow maps to 19 participating shops to fill their cups or stockings with holiday cheer. Patrons will have the choice of alcoholic and non- alcoholic beverage options.
From 1 to 6 p.m., Grant Avenue Pocket Park will feature a bonfire and s’mores, children’s crafts, a holiday photo booth, craft sale and Gardens of Millvale wreath and swag sale.
The Millvale Community Library will host a free kids party featuring cookie decorating and story time with Santa. Registration is required at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3820597 , with multiple sessions available.
Maria’s School of Dance students will perform “The Nutcracker” excerpts at 4 p.m. at Holy Spirit Lyceum, 608 Farragut St.
Shaler Area Parent Teacher Organization Dance Junction students will perform a hip-hop and Bollywood routine at 4:30 p.m.
At 5 p.m., pop rock band The Mondaze will perform at McCarthy Park, followed by Santa lighting the Christmas tree at 6 p.m. and community caroling.
Holy Spirit Parish, 608 Farragut St., will screen “Home Alone” at 7 p.m.
A Millvale bar crawl from 7 to 10 p.m. will cap off the day.
For more information: www.facebook.com/events/1962447064052498/.
What: Lunch with Santa and tree decorating
When: Dec. 1. Lunch is at 1 p.m.; doors open at 12:30. Tree decorating is at 2:30.
Where: Lunch is at Mt. Troy Ballroom and tree decorating is at the township parking lot, address for both is 33 Lonsdale St.
More than 100 Reserve children usually attend the annual free lunch featuring photos with Santa and letters to him, crafts, face painting and refreshments, said Kim Turczyn, township administrative assistant.
Registration is due Nov. 23 by completing the form found in the township newsletter at reservetwp.com or by emailing email@example.com.
Turczyn said the township received a donated tree that families will decorate following the lunch — guests need not attend lunch to decorate the tree. Officials request that families bring an ornament to hang on the tree. The township will provide refreshments.
Erica Cebzanov is a Tribune-Review contributor.