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Annual Festival of Lights begins this weekend

| Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2005

The Braddock Trail Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and the Laurel Highlands Chamber of Commerce are once again sponsoring the 16th annual Festival of Lights. The event features dozens of trees decorated by area individuals and organizations and are scattered throughout the 119-year-old Samuel Warden mansion located at 200 S. Church St. Most of the trees are available for purchase, and if not buying, individuals may still vote for their favorite one. Refreshments will be served, and "Mr. and Mrs Santa Claus" will be there to greet children. Some of the trees will also be raffled off at the event. Admission is $3 per person; children under age 12 are admitted free. Dates and times are 1:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, and Dec. 2 and 3; 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 1; and noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 4. All purchased and won trees must be picked up between 5 and 6 p.m. Dec. 4. For more information, call 724-547-7521.

Town news follows:

= Tickets are now available for the Mt. Pleasant Historical Society's Holiday Homes Tours which will held from 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 10, and noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 11. Tickets for this annual event will be $12 per person, and will include all seven of the sites on the tour, refreshments and plenty of entertainment. The society is also asking for volunteer help for this event. It is in need of people who are willing to help with the tour, also volunteer talent and someone who would be willing to offer their time to play the organ at one of the sites. Tickets are available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the historical society office located in the In-Town Shops. For information, contact the society at 724-547-9115.

= The 16th annual Thanksgiving dinner will be served at the Mt. Pleasant Guard Armory for area residents starting at noon Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. Take-out meal delivery for those who are unable to attend is also available. For information, call Sgt. Dally at 724-542-0309 ext. 304.

= Operation Get Involved is still going strong with its efforts to help with the victims of Katrina, and will hold a bingo Dec. 4 at the Roosevelt Hall in Norvelt, with all proceeds going to the hurricane victims. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. For information or to purchase advanced sale tickets, call 724-423-3232.

= The good folks of the Acme Open Bible Church will again hold its annual Christmas sale featuring crafts, baked goods and candy, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2 at the Diamond Mini Mall. They always have wonderful homemade items at this event, perfect for gift giving.

= The Mt. Pleasant Church of God will showcase local talent by staging the performance "I'll Be Home For Christmas." A dinner and performance package will be offered Dec. 3, with dinner starting before the play at 5:45 p.m. Tickets for the event are $12 for adults and $6 for children. Just the performance will be staged at 7 p.m. Dec. 4. For this showing, a good-will offering will be collected. Tickets may be purchased at the church office from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays or by calling 724-547-7110.

= Don't forget that Overly Country Christmas is now open and welcomes kids of all ages to come and enjoy the lights and have some fun. The fantastic light display is now open through Jan. 1, 2006. Times are 5:30 to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 5:30 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. This light-up display is held at the Westmoreland County fairgrounds.

I want to wish everyone a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving!

What happened on this day -- Henry Burden patented the horseshoe-making machine on this day, and also the pencil sharpener was invented by J.L. Love on this day in 1897. The very first jukebox made its appearance on this day in 1897, and the first issue of Life magazine hit the newsstands on this day in 1936. Favorite horror film actor Boris Karloff was born William H. Pratt in Dulwich, England, on this day in 1887. Karloff was famous for his Frankenstein monster movies.

Quote of the day -- "The monster was my best friend." -- Boris Karloff.

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