Kids visiting downtown Latrobe on Dec. 4 will find Santa waiting to hear their Christmas wish lists, while people of all ages will be able to enjoy a variety of live music and entertainment.
The in-person attractions will begin at 10 a.m., capping three days of activities as the annual Holly Jolly Christmas in Latrobe event returns Dec. 2-4, a year after pandemic restrictions caused a shift to virtual programming.
“We’re happy to have things back in person,” said event committee member Emily Pasqualino. “We’re fortunate to be back with the same amount of entertainers as we had in 2019.”
“Although we are still mindful of the ongoing pandemic and taking necessary precautions, we could not be more excited to gather together for the holiday season and welcome visitors of all ages to enjoy our scheduled holiday activities,” said Michael Tusay, executive director of the Latrobe Art Center.
Santa will be at James H. Rogers Memorial Park, at Main and Jefferson streets, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The first 300 children will receive a gift bag sponsored by LHTC Media and the Greater Latrobe-Laurel Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Other activities will continue until 3 p.m. Many will be at nearby sites along Main and Ligonier streets, while entertainment will either be outside or in large spaces with room for social distancing.
Barrel train rides will be available, and Greater Latrobe Parks and Recreation will hold snowball games.
Food trucks will be on Main Street, and local artists will sell a variety of art and handmade jewelry inside the Latrobe Art Center.
The art center and Adams Memorial Library will play host to holiday arts and crafts. Art center visitors may make an edible dreidel, an activity offered in partnership with WQED. Rock painting is slated at the Chamber of Commerce visitor center.
On the first floor of the Quatrini Rafferty building, visitors can check out a display from the Latrobe Area Historical Society and browse items for sale by vendors and crafters from the Latrobe Farmers Market.
A story time with Mrs. Claus and hot chocolate spoon dipping will be featured at 512 Coffee & Ice Cream. At the parklet at Main and Ligonier, there will be an opportunity to take selfies with the titular character from “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” a popular children’s show that has continued the legacy of late children’s TV host and Latrobe native Fed Rogers.
The parklet additionally is one of the event entertainment venues. The East End Kids will perform there at 10:30 a.m., followed by members of the Derry Area High School Band, at 11:30 a.m., and the Laurel Valley Academy of Dance, at 1 p.m.
Entertainment at Rodgers Park begins at 10 a.m., with instrumentalists from Christ the Divine Teacher School. Also featured will be the Trinity Lutheran Singers, at 11 a.m., and a Greater Latrobe School District choral ensemble, at 12:15 p.m.
Westmoreland County Community College’s Latrobe campus will host performances by magician Steve Haberman, at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., as well as Tracy Lynn’s Song & Dance Show, at 12:45 p.m.
Students from Christ The Divine Teacher School will carol throughout downtown.
On Dec. 3, visitors are invited to toast marshmallows over the fire and enjoy beverages from 6 to 9 p.m. at 512 Coffee & Ice Cream.
Voting for gingerbread houses
On all three Holly Jolly days, visitors may view locally crafted gingerbread houses at the WCCC campus and cast votes for their favorite creation from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 2 and 3 and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 4. Winners will be announced in three categories: ages 3-12, ages 13-17 and adults and organizations.
Shoppers can vie for prizes
Visitors can shop for holiday gifts in downtown Latrobe and will earn a chance to win a prize by making purchases from three of more than a dozen participating merchants — listed on the event’s Downtown Latrobe Holiday Shopping Card and map and designated with gingerbread man signs. Shoppers who make more than three purchases will be entered to win a grand prize basket.
The Holly Jolly event is organized by the library, the chamber, the art center, the McFeely-Rogers Foundation, WQED and local merchants in partnership with the city of Latrobe.
Visit hollyjollylatrobe.com or call 724-537-7011 for more information.