TUNKHANNOCK — The downtown business district will transform into a living Christmas village as the community celebrates the 16th Annual Christmas in Our Hometown Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1 and 2.
The event attracts thousands of people from Northeastern Pennsylvania and beyond to see the festive decorations, enjoy the entertainment and appreciate the holiday atmosphere. Gannon Associates Insurance is partnering with Travelers Insurance as the presenting sponsor again this year. The event is organized annually by the Tunkhannock Business and Professional Association (TBPA).
The TBPA is continuing a holiday decorating contest this year, sponsored by Select Sire Power. More information regarding participants will be available during the event.
Activitiess kick off with a tree-lighting ceremony on Friday at Peoples Security Bank on Tioga Street. The event will be broadcast live during the 5 p.m. show on WBRE-TV. The Tunkhannock Area High School Band will accompany Santa and Mrs. Claus and other dignitaries as they travel at about 4:30 p.m. down Tioga Street toward Peoples Security Bank and the tree lighting.
The event will include a living nativity, ice carvings, trolley rides and model train displays from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday. Window entertainment will be coordinated by Whipple Performing Arts Studio on Friday. Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet visitors both days.
The Dietrich Theater will host free showings of the movie “Emmet Otter’s Jug-band Christmas,” at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, sponsored by Ace-Robbins, Inc. The Dietrich will also kick off its annual Cookie Walk from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday evening and then again on Saturday from 11 a.m. until the cookies are gone.
Christmas in Our Hometown has a tradition of being a gift to the community so all activities are free to those attending. Additionally, many area churches, businesses and civic groups will be set up along historic Tioga Street to distribute free treats such as hot cocoa, roasted nuts, cider, cookies and candy.
This year, the Dietrich Theater is hosting the living nativity, presented by the Tunkhannock Assembly of God church on the Bridge Street side of the theater with presentations at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday.
Each year, various businesses create special displays and activities that have become a go-to stop during a visit to Tunkhannock’s Christmas in Our Hometown. Each year, the lobby of the Dietrich Theater is transformed by the theater’s many volunteers. Another stop is Ebb’s Candy Jar and landscaping where the theme this year is Charlie Brown Christmas. Also Keystone Konfections plans a great variety of outdoor activities, including live music, children’s activities and a cupcake mascot on hand for photos.
Saturday activities kick off with a Reindeer Run hosted by the Wyoming County United Way. The event includes a 5K Race and a 1 mile Fun Run. Registration is 8 a.m. and the races kick off at 9 a.m. For more information, contact the United Way.
The Roseland PTO will host a Breakfast with Santa at the school, from 8:30 to 12 p.m. 99 Digger Drive.
The TBPA is hosting a pet parade at 11 a.m., sponsored by the Endless Mountains Veterinary Center. Awards will be presented for the pets that best represent the Christmas story, are best coordinated, and most festive.
Also scheduled is a holiday workshop at the Dietrich Theater from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with activities including Cookie Decorating, Creating an Ornament and singing, along with creations by the balloon lady.
The Endless Mountains Council of the Arts Gallery, 302 W. Tioga St., Tunkhannock, is having a ‘Holly Day’ sale of artisan-made items, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For information, call 570-836-3622.
Saturday evening’s tree lighting is at 5:30 p.m. at Peoples Security Bank. Other Saturday activities run from 3 to 8 p.m. and include Santa and Mrs. Claus, the Living Windows, ice carving, Living Nativity at 7:30 p.m., trolley rides, and horse and wagon rides.
For more information, visit tunkhannockbusiness.com