Bethel Park tree lighting

Eleanor Bailey/The Almanac

Youngsters gather around the Christmas tree during the 2019 lighting ceremony at the Bethel Park Community Center.

The municipality of Bethel Park will hold its annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6:45 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Bethel Park Community Center. The event is free and open to the public.

“One of the new additions this year is that Santa will be making his big entrance riding in on a fire truck,” Cathy Muscato, community center director and assistant recreation director, said. “He’ll be traveling down Park Avenue and entering the community center grounds through the front driveway, greeting guests along the way.”

Other highlights include:

  • The simultaneous lighting of an indoor and outdoor tree;
  • Outdoor photo opportunities with eindeer cutouts in the Bethel Park Community Foundation Courtyard and an indoor selfie station;
  • Musical entertainment by the Bethel Park High School Jazz Ensemble and Independence Middle School Chorus;
  • Indoor socially distanced visits with Santa Claus, and Santa reading “A Visit from St. Nicholas”;
  • Opportunity to make “reindeer food” and write letters to Santa on preprinted forms;
  • Outdoor and indoor pickup of letters to Santa;
  • To-go treats, complete with cookies and hot chocolate.

Santa and Bethel Park Mayor Jack Allen will lead the countdown to light both the indoor and outdoor trees at the program’s conclusion.

“This year, we wanted to be sure to include outside festivities along with our indoor program to ensure that those who’d prefer to remain outside of the center could still say hello to Santa, drop off letters to him, take some fun holiday photos, and enjoy a tree lighting,” Muscato said.

Santa’s Mailbox be available in front of the community center after the tree lighting and will remain there until Dec. 24, enabling children ample time to deposit their special letters.

For more information, call the Bethel Park Community Center at 412-851-2910.