Luke Von Bloch

Eleanor Bailey/The Almanac

In 2019, Luke Von Bloch, 4, looked with wonder at Santa Claus as he sat on his lap and attempted to tell him what he wanted for Christmas during the annual Bethel Park Light-up Night. This year’s event, to be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 30, will return to the indoor confines of the community recreation center after being held outdoors because of the pandemic.

Mt. Lebanon and Pittsburgh gets a jump on the season when they light up the night for the holidays.

On Nov. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m., Mt. Lebanon transforms into a winter wonderland with its annual lighting of the tree at Clearview Common. In addition to music and other activities, there will be a visit from the North Pole’s most distinguished resident.

Festivities switch to downtown on Nov. 18 as the 11th annual Peoples Gas Holiday Market opens in Market Square and on Nov. 19 with the 61st annual Highmark Light Up Night.

The Holiday Market will open daily at 11 a.m. Closing hours are 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 6 p.m. Sundays until Dec. 24. The Holiday Market will not be open on Nov. 24, Thanksgiving Day.

The Holiday Market weaves through wooden chalets brimming with high-quality gifts and experiences filled with international flair and local charm.

The Rink at PPG Place opens at 4:45 p.m. Nov. 18 with a figure skating show by the Robert Morris University Island Sports and East End Kids followed by the Tribute of Light ceremony honoring those who have been affected by cancer. Grayson Pulling, 6, from Youngstown will flip the switch on the holiday tree at approximately 6 p.m.

Also on Nov. 18, Santa arrives at noon and will be available for visits at his brand new house in the Heinz Hall Courtyard. Regular season hours until Dec. 23 will be noon to 3 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Friday; noon to 8 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.

On Nov. 19, several other trees will be lit throughout the city.

At 5 p.m. the city-county building event will feature the City of Pittsburgh Tree illuminated with a rooftop fireworks display. At 6 p.m. the Highmark Tree will be lit with similar pomp between Stanwix Street and Penn Avenue. The evening concludes with a fireworks display from the Allegheny Overlook on Ft. Duquesne Boulevard at 9:30 p.m.

Throughout the day there will be music and entertainment at a variety of venues. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts is the headliner event at 8:30 p.m.

Visit for more details.

Many other South Hills municipalities get into the Spirit of the Season later in the month and at the start of December.

After two years outdoors due to the pandemic, Bethel Park returns to an indoor tree-lighting event on Nov. 30 at the community center, located on Park Avenue. Events run from 6 to 8 p.m.

The high school orchestra and the Independence Middle School singers will provide the musical entertainment as citizens await the arrival of Santa. There will be a reindeer food-making station, selfie-photo booth, hot chocolate bar and cookies provided by Bethel Bakery.

Event organizer Emily Skoczlas is eager to experience her first BP Light-up Night. She is the new assistant director at the recreation center.

“I’m excited to see how the community comets together to celebrate the holidays,” she said. “It should be a real exciting evening. I know I’ve had fun organizing it and all the volunteers have been helpful as I navigated putting together this event.”

Beverly Brite Nite will be the second of two tree illuminating ceremonies in Mt. Lebanon. The holiday tradition closes down Beverly Road from 7 to 8:30 p.m. for a night of carols, holiday treats and a visit from Santa.

Dormont will hold a Home for the Holidays event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 3. Events kick off with a parade followed by an outdoor holiday event along Potomac Avenue featuring activities, music and an artisan fair.

Peters Township’s Holiday Kickoff will be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 4 at the community recreation center on Meredith Drive in Venetia.

Participants should bring along a letter with a return address or create one at the event to give to Santa as he makes his checklist. The event will also feature crafts, games and refreshments.

Carnegie will celebrate the season with carols and a tree lighting ceremony from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 2 at the borough building located on One Veterans Way. Cookies and hot chocolate will be provided.

Carnegie is also hosting a holiday farmers market from noon to 3 p.m. Nov. 20 on East Main Street between Mary and Broadway. In addition to produce, there will be assorted beverages, flowers, jewelry, preserves, art, baked goods, candles, pet food and accessories, essential oils, pierogi, hummus, mosaics, soaps and empanadas.

Visit: or call 412-276-1414 for more details.

Canonsburg’s Old Fashioned Christmas will be held from 4 to 9 p.m. Dec. 2 and from noon to 9 p.m. Dec.3.

The tree-lighting ceremony starts at 6 p.m. Dec. 2 at the borough building, located on East Pike Street. The parade begins at 6 p.m. Dec. 3 near Iron Street and Greenside Avenue.

On both days there will be Christmas Markets at three different locations as well as a miniature train display at the City Mission Thrift Store on West Pike Street. Additionally, there will be photos with Santa, Christmas and gingerbread house competitions.

Visit for an entire list of activities.

South Hills Lights will be held at 5 p.m. Dec. 19 at the Dormont Pool parking lot as neighbors and friends of Chabad of the South Hills participate in a Chanukah grand menorah lighting event. The evening features music, latkes, doughnuts and Chanukah swag.

Holiday bells, mallets and drums will fill the air during the Mt. Lebanon annual holiday concert being held at 7 p.m. Dec. 9 and at 1 and 7 p.m. Dec. 10 in the high school auditorium. Mt. Lebanon students provide the entertainment.

The Joy of Christmas Craft Show will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Nov. 19 at St. Louise de Marillac School and LeGras Parish Center. The Labouré Ladies Guild’s annual event includes 115 artists and crafters, auction and 50/50 raffle. Lunch and snacks will be available for purchase. Admission is $2.

Almanac Sports Editor

An award-winning journalist, Eleanor Bailey has been employed by Observer Publishing Company since 1982. She is the sports editor at The Almanac and a contributor for the Observer-Reporter.

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