The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

December 19, 2013

There's a lot of holiday happenings this weekend, including a 'Homecoming'


— Events

Christmas concert

“Holiday Homecoming,” a concert by Johnstown natives John Bagnato and Tim Wetmiller, will be presented at 8 p.m. Thursday at Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center, 411 Third Ave. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

Bagnato, a guitarist from Pittsburgh, and Wetmiller, a violinist from Seattle, will perform jazz and the music of Mexico, Brazil, Cuba and Argentina.

Tickets are $12 at the door.

Information: 536-5399.

Welcome, Christmas

A drive-through live Nativity will be presented from 6 to 8 tonight at Westmont United Methodist Church, 1428 Menoher Blvd.

The event was postponed last week because of inclement weather.

Visitors should enter from Menoher Boulevard.

They also can enjoy seasonal music sung by a choir and holiday cookies baked by church members.

Admission is free.

Handel’s “Messiah” will be performed at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday at Oakland United Methodist Church, 1504 Bedford St., Johnstown.

The chancel choir will sing the Christmas portion of Handel’s oratorio, along with four guest soloists.

A live orchestra will accompany the performances.

The 3 p.m. performance is open to the public.

Information: 269-3678.

A free concert of Christmas music will be presented at 7 p.m. Sunday at Westmont Presbyterian Church, 601 Luzerne St., Westmont.

“What Sweeter Music,” a cantata in eight parts by Mark Hayes, which depicts the Nativity of Christ, will be performed by the chancel choir and children’s choir, accompanied by a 23-piece orchestra and directed by James Hutchinson, minister of music.  

Westmont Bell Choir also will perform, under the direction of Helen Krichbaum.

There will be a freewill offering to benefit Westmont Family Counseling Ministries.

“An Evening with Johnstown’s Finest,” a Christmas concert sponsored by Greater Johnstown School District and its alumni association, will be presented at 7 p.m. Monday at Cochran Auditorium, 222 Central Ave., Johnstown.

Featured performers are Whiskey River Panhandlers, Walt and Jackie, Henry Davis and Rachel, Bo and Friends.

Tickets ares $5 at the door and $4 in advance.

Information: 533-5601 or

Santa at the Johnstown Children’s Museum, part of the JAHA-lidays celebration, will be held from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Heritage Discovery Center, 201 Sixth Ave. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

There will be tours led by Santa, model train displays, games and crafts and visits with Santa at this drop-in event.

“An Out of the Box Christmas,” the eighth St. James Missionary Baptist Church community Christmas pageant, will be presented at 6 tonight at St. James Missionary Baptist Church, 400 Pine St. in the Hornerstown section of Johnstown.  

A cast of 12 children from three area churches, St. James, Cambria A.M.E. Zion and Bethel A.M.E., will be featured.

The cast includes Akhia Lawton, Christopher Cashaw, Jayla Grim, Brianna Cashaw, Meeya Gause, Ty’Reiona Lawton, Jahleni Johnson, Jihan Thomas, Maddox Pollard, Icis Donald, Jaivon Johnson and Monet Salmons.

In the musical, when boxes show up at a Christmas dress rehearsal with all the wrong costumes, the cast has no choice but to think out of the box.

Through innovation and imagination, the children tell the Christmas story without the traditional shepherds’ robes, wise men’s garments and angels’ wings, replacing them with cowboys, pirates, cheerleaders and a superhero.  

The donation is $5, which includes a meal.                   

 Information:  255-8062.    

An Ugly Sweater Party, also part of the JAHA-lidays celebration, will be held from 8 to 11 tonight at Heritage Discovery Center, 201 Sixth Ave. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

There will be an ugly sweater contest, music, games, dancing, a cash bar and food at this 21 and older event.

Admission is $5.

An Advent of Christmas Concert will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday at St. John Gualbert Cathedral, 117 Clinton St., downtown Johnstown.  

The program will feature the Greater Johnstown Diocesan Festival Choir and Cathedral Catholic Academy Chorale, directed by the cathedral music director, Evonne Yanzetich-Homway.

The choral groups will be accompanied by the Hilltop Brass and Vivace Strings.

Admission is free and open to the public, and a freewill offering will be taken.

“Four Tickets to Christmas” will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Faith Chapel, 7:30 Sunberry St., Geistown.

The dramatic musical tells the story of a family reconciliation at Christmas.

Admission is free.

Information: 269-2236.

“ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas” will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday and 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Baker Mansion, Altoona.

The cost is $8 per person or $6 for groups of 15 or more.

Information: 942-3916.

Christmas trains

The Christmas Town Railroad Display will be puffing away through Jan. 1 at Arbutus Park Retirement Community, 207 Ottawa St., Richland Township.

The train schedule is 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday and Monday; 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday; 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 27; 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 29; and 1 to 3 p.m. Jan. 1.

Information: 266-8621.

Christmas lights

The eighth annual Festival of the Trees for Jackson Township will be on display through Jan. 7 at Veterans Park, 200 Adams Ave., Vinco.

A Festival of the Trees will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 29 at Windber Area Museum, 601 15th St., Windber.

Admission is a donation to the museum.

The 17th annual Holiday Lights On the Lake will be open nightly from 6 to 10 through Jan. 5 at Lakemont Park, 700 Park Ave., Altoona.

The 51-acre display is filled with holiday lights and animations and can be seen as visitors drive through.

Guests also can stop at Santa’s Village, which includes a gift shop, refreshments and model train displays by the Alto Model Train Museum.

Children can visit with Santa and get their picture taken every night through Monday.

Admission is $10 per car, $20 per commercial van, $25 per school bus and $75 per motorcoach.

Unlimited visitor passes are available for $34.95.

Information: 800-434-8006 or

Overly’s Country Christmas will be open through Jan. 1 at Westmoreland Fairgrounds, 116 Blue Ribbon Lane, Greensburg.

Hours are 5:30 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 5:30 to 9 p.m. weekdays.

After walking through the light displays, guests can visit  the Christmas Village.

Admission is $12 per car Mondays through Thursdays, $15 per car Fridays through Sundays and $20 per commercial vehicles and vans, limousines and recreational vehicles.


Holiday showcase

The 43rd annual Holly Bazaar will showcase holiday crafts through Tuesday at Community Arts Center of Cambria County, 1217 Menoher Blvd., Westmont.

The 11th annual Basket Bonanza will feature 90 baskets, with tickets available for $5.

The annual book sale will include new and used books.

Admission is free.

Information: 255-6515.

Performance venue

Music will be on the menu at the Venue of Merging Arts, 305 Chestnut St. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

Don Aliquo Quartet will perform from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday.

“A Jazzed Up Christmas” will be presented by George Byich and Zach Bodolosky from 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Refreshments and desserts will be available.

Admission is $7 or $6 VIP.

Information: 410-2245 or

Colorful concert

Painted by Millions, an Indie rock band from Johnstown, will host an EP release party at 7 tonight at Bottle Works Ethnic Art Center, 411 Third Ave. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

Band member Johnny Bayush plays guitar, drums, piano and violin.

Admission is $5 per person.

Information: 536-5399.

Book bargains

Holiday, religious, children’s and coffee-table books will be featured at Inclined to Read Bookstore at the Cambria County Library, 248 Main St., downtown Johnstown.

The store also will be filled with fiction and nonfiction, including art, biography, cookbooks, gardening, health and well-being, self help, history, literature, sports, murder mystery and suspense.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

The store will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday and Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.

Coffee-table books are $3, hardback books are $1, children’s books are 50 cents and paperbacks are 25 cents.

Information: 536-5131.

Christmas star

“The Star of Bethlehem: Christmas in the Planetarium” will be presented at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Angelo J. Taiani Planetarium and Astronaut Exhibit in the Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion on the campus of St. Vincent College, Latrobe.  

“The Star of Bethlehem: Epiphany in the Planetarium” will be presented at 11 a.m. Jan. 4.

Each tour begins with a view of the season’s night sky, followed by selected deep sky objects along with simulated trips to planets and moons in the solar system.

“The Sky Over Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” a 30-minute show appropriate for children ages 3 to 10, will be presented at 12:30 p.m. on each date.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Because of limited seating, advance reservations are requested.

Information: 724-805-2631 or

Photo art

“Adam’s Ambiguous Designs” by photographer Adam Hinderliter will be on display through  Jan. 9 at Bottle Works Ethnic Art Center, 411 Third Ave. in the Cambria City section of Johns-town.

Hinderliter studied at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and has been an avid photographer since 2000.

His passion is nature, but cityscapes have been his focus in the past few years – not only elegant buildings, but the urban decay of graffiti and rusting bridge supports.

Hinderliter prints his pieces on archival paper and has the capability of printing each photograph on metal.

Every photograph is a limited edition, and all photographs are numbered and signed by the artist.

Information: 536-5399.

Art education

A student and teacher art show will be on display through Jan. 9 at Art Works in Johns-town and Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center, both on Third Avenue in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

The show will feature middle and high school students and teachers from Windber Area, Richland, Greater Johnstown, North Star, Ferndale, Central Cambria, Forest Hills, Bishop McCort Catholic and United.

Admission is free.

Information: 535-2020 or 536-5399.

Surreal art

“Surrealities: The Graphic Work of William D. Davis and Peter Milton” will be on display through March 15 at Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Johnstown, Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, Richland Township.

Both Davis and Milton are graphic artists who work primarily in black and white.

Mixed-media exhibit

“Wonderful Whimsy IV,” a mixed-media exhibition, will be on display through Jan. 7 at Art Works in Johnstown! 413 Third Ave. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

Information: 535-2020 or

Comfortable art

“Comfort Zones: Pennsylvania and the ‘Foreign’ Landscape’ ” will be on display through Jan. 25 at Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Loretto on the campus of St. Francis University.

The exhibition features around 60 paintings, prints and photographs from the museum’s permanent collection.

Information: 472-3920 or visit