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Mayor's dinner, parade mark start of holiday season in New Kensington

BRIAN C. RITTMEYER| Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021 8:01 a.m.

New Kensington will celebrate the holiday season with events during the first two weekends in December, starting with the return of Mayor Tom Guzzo’s community dinner and the city’s holiday parade.

The dinner and parade were canceled last year because of the covid pandemic.

The free buffet dinner will be served beginning at 6 p.m. Friday at the Fourth Avenue fire station. It will follow a tree lighting at 5 p.m. at the corner of Ninth Street and Fourth Avenue.

Guzzo first held the dinner in 2010. This will be the 11th such event.

Guzzo said it’s his favorite day of the year.

“I wanted to provide a holiday meal for folks who might not otherwise have one,” Guzzo said. “It’s an opportunity for us to talk to the folks who live here (and) we don’t see every day. We serve a good meal and put a smile on people’s faces. There’s nothing more important than that.”

New Kensington’s businesses are asked to keep their lights on that night in the spirit of the holiday season.

Saturday will begin with a breakfast with Santa hosted by the Burrell-New Kensington Rotary. It will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. at Preserving, 1101 Fifth Ave., on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 11th Street.

Information on a scavenger hunt throughout the day will be given to children at the breakfast. Prizes will be given out at Voodoo Brewery at 956 Fifth Ave.

The holiday parade, hosted by the city, will begin at 11 a.m.

Following the parade, free horse-and-carriage rides will be available from 1 to 4 p.m. Children will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Also after the parade, carolers will be at Preserving, around town and at various businesses, weather permitting. A train and gingerbread village display will be at Modfinish at 1013 Fifth Ave.

Dec. 11 will be Craft Day. A craft fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the New Kensington Arts Center at 950 Fifth Ave., and a cookie-decorating contest will run from 1 to 4 p.m. at Voodoo.

People’s Library will host a holiday photo booth from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the library courtyard. Guzzo will be reading holiday stories there starting at 1 p.m.

On Dec. 12, Preserving and Sweet Alchemy Bake Shop will host a “Vegan & Vinyl” holiday market. It will take place from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Preserving.

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