Oakmont Hometown Christmas returns to ring in holiday spirit

After a year-long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oakmont Hometown’s Christmas celebration is back in action this year, fully resuming where it left off with a full evening of family fun on November 20th.

A large crowd gathered from Allegheny River Boulevard at the 5 p.m. show that was the centerpiece of an evening that included more than 30 vendors, multiple food booths, art and crafts, a live music theater, and many other attractions for both adults and children. The show featured many floats, holiday characters, fire trucks, and candy for kids, along with the Riverview marching band and Riverview fans, among other artists.

In partnership with neighboring Verona, the two cities coordinated a round-trip trolley service, with Verona holding its own celebration that began earlier in the day. But things got busier as the sun went down, the lights came on, and the Oakmont party went into high gear.

After the parade, Santa Claus stopped at the Oaks Theater to take Christmas orders from the little ones with pictures with the kids for their parents. The line to see Santa extended all the way through the theater, out the front door, and down the sidewalk.

Buzz Lightyear and Little Bo Peep showed up too, stopping at Castle Toys for a photo shoot with the kids and spreading some holiday cheer. There were once again long queues to see these favorite characters. “It was busier than expected. Pittsburgh lights up tonight too, so it was really nice to have such a very busy event,” said Wade Wolford, who was working in the Oakmont Chamber of Commerce stand.

The live music stage next to the Oakmont Clock Tower was also a big draw, and one of the highlights was the Great Harmony Chorus, which performed a large number of holiday hymns and folk songs. The Musical Theater is sponsored by the John Marzolo Group and Compass Estate.

The food vendors included many different corn vendors, hot cocoa, a Franctory selling a variety of sausages, Pittsburgh Cookie Table selling custom sugar cookies, the Oakmont Republican Committee serving hot cider and candy canes, and one of the newcomers of the year was the you and me event and the dough, Who were selling homemade cookie dough and hot cocoa. Owned by Bryanna and Bella Urso, this was the duo’s first birthday experience in his hometown. Bella said, “This is a really great community, and this was an amazing event. We had so much fun.”

Animal protectors in the Allegheny Valley made sure no one would forget their furry friends, because the cats and dogs sold benefit from a shelter that doesn’t kill them. They even brought Elsa, a 10-year-old adopted blind dachshund girl with them to show one of their success stories and take part in the rally. Jane Lessig, who works in development with the organization, said, “We appreciate everyone who attended and donated. It was really great and we couldn’t have asked for better weather.”

One of the year’s most favorite auctions, the China Auction is back in business this year as well, with multiple tables of auction items sponsored by Ace Hardware, Etta’s Blvd. Doggy Daycare, Thermo Twin Windows, and Tomlinson Agency.

Finally, local Oakmont businesses also had their own booth outside, too, with some of these standouts including Oakmont Candle Works selling holiday scented candles, and Oakmont Olive Oil Co displaying olive oils, vinegar, and baking dips. Sharon Carroll of Oakmont Olive Oil Company said, “Everyone was so excited to be out tonight. There were so many people having so much fun. It was a great night.”

Darren Yovan is a contributing writer for Trip Total Media.

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