Ligonier plans holiday events |

Ligonier plans holiday events

Evan Sanders | Trib Total Media
Madelon Sheedy of Laughlintown, a volunteer at Compass Inn, admires the holiday wreath hung on the front door of the historic building while decorating the inn for the Christmas season Monday.
Evan Sanders | Trib Total Media
Theresa Gay Rohall, Executive Director of Compass Inn located in Laughlintown, carries in decorations while working with volunteers on getting the historic building decorated for the holidays on Monday, Nov. 24, 2014.

Looking like a scene from a Currier and Ives print, Christmas season officially begins in Ligonier this weekend. Volunteers spent the last two weeks hanging lights on the trees and bows on the Bandstand in preparation for “Santa’s Arrival and Diamond Lighting” event.

Santa will arrive at 6:30 p.m. Friday on a horse-driven sleigh. He will be led to town by the Ligonier Valley High School marching band under the direction of Bethann Tricket, local Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the Idlewild Trolley and Miss Ligonier’s Court.

WJAC-TV news anchor Bill Brown, Ligonier Mayor Ormond “Butch” Bellas, Miss Ligonier, Emily Rose Long; First Runner-Up, Madeleine Wolff and Second Runner-Up, Allison Fox will be on hand to assist Santa as he flips the switch on the Town Hall steps to officially turn on the lights around the Diamond. Santa will greet children in the Town Hall community room following the lighting. Santa’s mailbox will be placed near Town Hall for letters from the children in the Ligonier Valley.

Sleigh rides will be available in front of Town Hall immediately following the lighting of the Diamond by Ernie Alwine, owner of Misty Haven Carriage.

Ron Adams from Ligonier Radio “The Valley,” will be showing vintage Christmas short features and cartoons in the auditorium of Town Hall. The cartoons will be free and open to the public.

“Children and parents can enjoy the short films while other family members do some Christmas shopping,” said Holly Mowrey, the chamber’s executive director.

Museums plan open houses

Several Ligonier Valley museums will join Ligonier merchants when they too open their doors for the holiday season.

Compass Inn, Fort Ligonier and the Lincoln Highway Experience museums will provide shoppers the opportunity to purchase historically-themed gifts with unique ties to the Ligonier Valley.

“Families can coordinate a tour of the Compass Inn with Santa’s arrival in Ligonier during the Diamond lighting festivities,” said Theresa Rohall, executive director of the Ligonier Valley Historical Society. “Our tours begin at 3 p.m. Afterwards, they can go into Ligonier.”

Compass Inn decorates for candlelight tours

The Ligonier Valley Historical Society’s fall harvest decor at the Compass Inn has been replaced with fresh pine and holly Christmas decorations and candles for the annual holiday candlelight tours set to begin Thanksgiving weekend in Laughlintown.

Tours of the inn will be conducted 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Dec. 6, 7, 13 and 14.

The holiday-enhanced tour will features crackling wood fires in three fireplaces and the glow of nearly 100 candles. Costumed docents will tell the story of transportation, life and holiday celebrations in the early 1800s. Hospitality at the 19th-century inn includes hot mulled cider and a cookie.

Demonstrations will be conducted in the blacksmith shop.

Admission is $9 for adults, $8 for senior (62+), $6 for students 7-17 and free for children 6 and under. Allow one hour for the tour. Walk-ins are welcome; however, reservations are requested for groups of 10 or more and required for groups of 20 or more.

Call 724-238-4983 for more information.

Fort Ligonier plans open house

The Fort Ligonier Museum and store will be open noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 6 and 7.

The Penn-Trafford Community Flute Choir will perform 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 7.

“Visit our museum galleries and enjoy holiday shopping in Fort Ligonier’s Museum store,” said Annie Urban executive director at the fort.

The fort gift shop has books, flags, vintage costumes, hats and toys and many other gift ideas for children and adult history buffs.

Admission is free. The outside fort area will be closed.

Lincoln Highway museum to showcase vintage Christmas decor

The Lincoln Highway Experience Museum will conduct an open house from 4 -7 p.m. Dec. 5 and 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 6.

The event will showcase nearly 100 new gift items, holiday carolers and decorated Christmas cookies by Kristin Hughes of Kristin’s Kookiez and Treatz,

Don Lachie’s vintage holiday decorations from the 1800s to 1950s will be on display in the 200-year-old parlor.

Santa will make an appearance 5-7 p.m. Dec. 5.

A musical trio from St. Vincent College will perform throughout the day on Dec. 6.

“Shoppers may select actual Lincoln penny earrings with memorable birth, anniversary or graduation dates,” said Olga Herbert executive director. “A Lincoln Highway coffee combo includes a bag of beans, mug and a coffee-themed magnet, with a quote by Honest Abe himself.”

T-shirts and magnets designed by Jack Puglisi, an Abraham Lincoln authority and artist, are available in the gift shop and Lincoln “Penny” cookies will be available for purchase.

For more information, call 724-879-4241 or go to

Historical society plans Festival of Lights

The 32nd Ligonier Valley Historical Society’s Festival of Lights is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 6-9 in the community room of Town Hall. The fundraiser features more than 50 trees, wreaths and centerpieces available for purchase. Several raffles will also be conducted including a merchant raffle, wine raffle, a giving tree, a lottery tree and a silent bid auction for a Ligonier winter scene painting. A festival preview party is 6:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 5. Cost is $30 for members and $35 for non-members.

Deborah A. Brehun is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-238-2111 or [email protected].

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