Chamber, PRIDE reinforce staying ‘home’ during Home for the Holidays

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The holiday season will not begin and end with the annual Home for the Holidays parade, the Circle of Trees illumination and the arrival of Santa Claus.

The Punxsutawney Area Chamber of Commerce and PRIDE seek groups, businesses and organization to host current and ongoing holiday activities for Punxsy’s month-long Christmas celebration: From the start of special events Saturday, Nov. 26, through Christmas Day.

Both Marlene Lellock, Chamber executive director, and Katie Laska, of PRIDE, said the two groups seek to recreate the Home for the Holidays model from the 1990s that was part of the Punxsutawney Main Street Project.

“We think people just want to see that again in Punxsy,” Lellock said.
The Chamber and PRIDE also ask local residents to think about the phrase: “Home” for the holidays, and exploring and supporting local events and businesses.

“It was like this in the past,” Laska said. “When it started, there were events every weekend.”

“When you have more events, you’re more likely to keep people in town,” Lellock added.

Many of the ongoing Home for the Holidays events — such as the parade, Santa Claus’ visit and the First Church of God’s Living Christmas Tree, for example — will continue, but the Chamber and PRIDE seek individuals and groups to host events that will attract guests for the weeks between the parade and Christmas.

New events may include craft sales; caroling groups; sleigh rides; plays; church events; decorating contests;open houses; etc.

“Businesses featuring special events will draw customers to their businesses,” Laska said. “That’s essentially what this is all about: Drawing people into businesses during the holiday season.”

The enhanced Home for the Holidays events also provide excellent opportunities for PAHS juniors and seniors to help as part of their senior projects.

Starting today, The Punxsutawney Spirit will run a listing of events as they are scheduled, and the updated schedule will appear in the newspaper every Tuesday.

Lellock said, “The sooner you get the event to us, the more it will be publicized.”

Home for the Holidays events scheduled so far include:
Nov. 26
• Mistletoe Madness, downtown.
• Home for the Holidays parade, 6 p.m.
• Rotary Club’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting, following the parade, and Circle of Trees Light-Up Night, both in Barclay Square.
Dec. 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18
• First Church of God’s Living Christmas Tree.
For more information, or to add your event, call the Chamber at 938-7700 ext. 2, or Katie at (814) 590-6868.