BY RUTH RICE
Johnstown’s annual Light-Up Night and giant-balloon Christmas Parade will be held at 6 tonight on the streets of downtown Johnstown.
The highlight of the parade, which will march up Main Street to Clinton Street, will be almost a dozen giant helium-filled balloons depicting various holiday favorites.
Before the parade, festivities will start with members of Johnstown Symphony Chorus singing from 5:15 to 5:45 in Central Park.
The “Wings of Hope” Great Santa Two-Mile Race, which will benefit a cancer patient, will be held at 5:30.
After Santa lights up Central Park at the end of the parade, he will meet and greet the children and give out treat bags.
“Liberal Shop of Horrors” will be presented by comedy troupe Capitol Steps at 7:30 tonight at Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center on the Pitt-Johnstown campus in Richland Township.
The group claims to put the mock in democracy by satirizing both sides of the political spectrum.
One of their more recent routines sheds light on the public’s thoughts for health-care reform, “Cash for Codgers.”
Tickets range from $12 to $35.
Information: 269-7200, (800) 846-2787 or www.upjarts.org.
An app for that
“Dead Man’s Cell Phone” will be presented by (un)apologetic productions at 8 tonight and Saturday at Venue of Merging Arts, 307 Chestnut St. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.
The edgy comedy explores our technologically obsessed world and closes the theater company’s 2010 season.
Tickets are $10 and are available in advance or at the door.
Information: E-mail email@example.com or 244-3135.
Holly Bazaar and Gingerbread House Festival will be held through Dec. 24 at Community Arts Center of Cambria County, 1217 Menoher Blvd., Westmont.
There also will be a book sale and basket bonanza.
The hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.
The arts center will be closed Thanksgiving Day.
Admission is free.
Cheers for all
The 23rd annual Pennsylvania State Cheerleading Championships will be held Saturday and Sunday at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena, 326 Napoleon St., Johnstown.
On Saturday, doors will open at 10 a.m., with competition beginning at 11.
On Sunday, doors will open at noon, with competition starting at 1 p.m.
As many as 25 teams from across the state are expected to compete, from as far away as Erie to the north and Philadelphia to the east.
Tickets, which will be available at the door, are $10 for adults and $5 for students.
Adults may purchase a two-day pass for $15.
Information: 536-5156 or www.warmemorial.com.
A Thanksgiving Hymn Sing to benefit New Day Inc. will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday at Oakland United Methodist Church, 1504 Bedford St., Johnstown.
Guests will be able to choose favorite hymns to sing, and a freewill offering will benefit New Day.
Special music will include solos by Matt Price, director of worship at Oakland, and Cheryl Keafer and Sis Link of New Day.
Choral selections will be performed by the choirs of Maple Spring Church of the Brethren and Oakland United Methodist Church.
There will be light refreshments, and child care will be provided.
A Thanksgiving Day 2-mile Walk 4-mile Run to benefit Project: Streetkids International will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday at Shade-Central City Elementary School, 235 McGregor Ave., Cairnbrook.
T-shirts are guaranteed for preregistered participants only.
Participants should bring a canned or nonperishable food item to benefit the Central City Food Pantry.
Information: 535-6514, 754-4625 or www.projectstreetkids.org.
Ebensburg Area Running Club will hold a Turkey Trot 5K beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday at Penn Eben Park, Ebensburg.
The event, which will go through downtown Ebensburg, is open to runners and walkers.
Registration will start at 7:30 a.m. or can be done before the race by logging on at www.ebensburgrunners.org.
The registration fee is $15 and guarantees a Turkey Trot T-shirt.
Prizes include gift certificates to area businesses.
Participants are being asked to bring canned goods or personal- hygiene products for the Dorothy Day Center at St. Francis University, Loretto.
Hunting for fun
An Adult’s Night Out Scavenger Hunt, sponsored by HAT, Westmont Hilltop Middle School’s parent organization, will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday at The Grove, 1000 EdgeHill Drive, Westmont.
The hunt, which is open to the public, begins and ends at The Grove, where a covered-dish dinner will be held along with raffles, a 50-50 drawing and music.
Doors will open at 5:30 for participants and 6:30 for nonteam members.
Participants, who must be 18, will spread across Johnstown to find or photograph items on a task list in a set amount of time.
Teams will need a car and a digital or cell phone camera.
Registration is $40 per team of up to four people.
The cost for those not participating in the hunt is $5.
Registration forms are available on Facebook at WHMS HAT Scavenger Hunt or at www.whmshat.webs.com or www.whsd.org.
“Holiday Dining with Diabetes, a five-part class presented by Somerset County Cooperative Extension, will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22 at the extension office at 6024 Glades Pike, Somerset.
Paid registrations are due by Monday.
The program is for adults with diabetes and their families.
The cost is $35 per person or $50 for two.
A follow-up class will be held Feb. 23.
Information: 445-8911, ext. 7.
Inclined to Sing and The Apprentice Choir, the children’s choruses of Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, will perform a fall concert at 11 a.m. Saturday at Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, Richland Township.
Inclined to Sing, which includes singers from fifth through ninth grade, will perform “Fairest Lady,” “Can You Hear Me?” and “I Bought Me a Cat.”
The Apprentice Choir, featuring singers in kindergarten through fourth grade, will perform the Russian folk song “Minka,” a Hanukkah song and “Jingle Bell Boogie.”
Both choirs, who are celebrating their 10th anniversary season, will combine to perform the Christmas selection “The Grey Donkey.”
Tickets are $5, and children younger than age 12 will be admitted free.
Greater Johnstown Athletic Ski Club will kick off its 32nd ski season with a party at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Chestnut Room at Ace’s, 316 Chestnut St. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.
The event will feature food, beverages, prizes and dancing to the music of John Stiffler, a popular local singer and musician.
Club membership is open to those 21 years old and over, but the club sponsors many activities that the whole family can enjoy.
In addition to downhill skiing at various local resorts, club members also enjoy cross-country skiing at many locations in the southwestern Pennsylvania area.
Club members participate in other events such as biking on the Rails to Trails system state wide, golf outings, rafting, hiking and any other activities that the membership requests.
The club offers access to several ski trips each year through the Western Pennsylvania Ski Council, and the Johnstown club is sponsoring a regional weekend trip to Wisp Resort in Maryland.
Yearly membership dues will be $25 at the door. Guests may attend for $20.
Information: www.wpsc.net or www.johnstownpa.com/skiclub.
“The Shaggy Dog Murder Trial” will be presented by Northern Cambria High School Drama Club at 7:30 tonight in the high school auditorium.
At the end of the play, the audience will decide if a dog should be sentenced to death for the drowning of a boy.
The play is based on a true incident that happened in New York.
Tickets are $3 and may be purchased at the door.
A basket party to benefit Project: Streetkids International will be held beginning at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at St. Gregory Church hall, 120 Boltz Street, Johns-town.
The organization provides assistance to at-risk youth in Honduras, Dominican Republic and locally.
The public may help by contributing a basket or donation or by volunteering.
Students can earn service hours by helping with the event.
A $10 donation includes entry with lunch, door prize ticket and 25 basket chances.
Information: 535-6514, 754-4625 or www.projectstreetkids.org.
An opening reception for “Wonderful Whimsy,” an exhibit featuring paintings and sculptures created by a group of artists inspired by the whimsical aspect of life, will be held from 6 to 9 tonight at Art Works in Johnstown, 413 Third Ave. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.
An Artisan Boutique Sale associated with the exhibit will be held at the same time.
The sale also will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The exhibit will be on display through Dec. 31.
The annual Christmas Craft Shoppe will be open Saturday through Dec. 18 at the Philip Dressler Center for the Arts, 214 S. Harrison Ave., Somerset.
Hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays.
The shop will be closed Nov. 25 and 26 for the Thanksgiving holiday.
More than 40 local crafters will display handcrafted Christmas items, including ornaments, slates, wood items, pillows, wall hangings, dried floral arrangements, wreaths, jewelry, candles and note cards.
Santas of Yesteryear & Gift Baskets Galore, a new fundraising event, will be held in conjunction with the Christmas Craft Shoppe.
The upstairs galleries will feature Santas made by local artists and crafters and gift baskets donated by businesses and individuals.
Some of the basket items include two Pittsburgh Steelers tickets, Vera Bradley, American Girl, Dove chocolates and a golf package.
All items will be part of a special chance auction.
Tickets will be $5 for an arm’s length.
The second annual Breakfast with Santa will be held Nov. 27.
Parents can spend some time shopping in the craft shop while the children enjoy breakfast.
After breakfast, there will be face painting and a holiday craft.
The cost $6 per child, and pictures with Santa are $2.
A Christmas Boutique will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today through Dec. 5 at Windber Area Museum, 1325 Graham Ave., Windber.
The museum will be closed Thanksgiving Day.
The first Christmas lights of the season will be on display today through Jan. 1 at Overly’s Country Christmas, Westmoreland Fairgrounds, Greensburg.
Hours are 5:30 to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 5:30 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Christmas Eve hours are 5:30 to 9 p.m.
“Share the Magic,” a season-long collection of new toys, nonperishable food items, kitty litter and pet food, will continue this year at the covered bridge in Christmas Village.
Admission prices are $10 per car or family van and $12 per limousine, extended passenger van or minibus.
Information: (724) 423-1400 or www.overlys.com.
A free open house with a ballroom dance lesson will be held from 6 to 6:30 tonight at Sherry Lynn’s Ballroom Dance Center, 646 Main St., Johnstown.
All ages are welcome, and a partner is preferred but not required.
True life comedy
Neil Simon’s comedy-drama “Broadway Bound” will be presented at 8 tonight and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday by Altoona Community Theatre at the Mishler Theatre, Altoona.
“Broadway Bound” is the third play in Simon’s semi-autobiographical trilogy, which also includes “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and “Biloxi Blues.”
Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students, plus box office fees.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.altoonacom-munitytheatre.com.
“Biennial 2010,” featuring more than 100 works by 60 western and central Pennsylvania artists, will be on display through Feb. 19 at Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Loretto on the St. Francis University campus.
The exhibit features works in photography, watercolor, wood, oil, clay, steel, bronze, pastel, pencil, acrylic, fiber art and mixed media.
“The Land: Exploitation,” an acrylic painting by Chuck Olson of Indiana, was chosen as Best of Show.
First-place awards were given to Kathleen Kase Burk of Ebensburg, best drawing; Ron Donoughe of Pittsburgh, best painting; John Hovenstine of Hollidaysburg, best photography; Paul Sirofchuck of Ligonier, best crafts; and Jeanne Stevens-Sollman of Bellefonte, best sculpture.
Information: 472-3920 or www.sama-art.org.
“Journeys With Jim Richey” will be on display through November at Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center, 411 Third Ave. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.
The continuous slide-show presentation of fine arts photography by Richey can be seen during regular gallery hours.
The presentation is free and open to the public.
“Southwestern Pennsylvania Council for the Arts 15th annual Regional Juried Art Exhibition” will be on display through Feb. 12 at Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Ligonier Valley, One Boucher Lane and Route 711 South in Ligonier.
Best of Show honors were awarded to Kevin Kutz of Bedford for his oil on canvas, “Big Inning.”
Jan Barone of North Huntington received second prize, while Paul Sirofchuck of Ligonier took third prize and David DiPietro of Uniontown won fourth.
Awards of Excellence were given to Hsiao Busch of Plumville and Kenneth Beer of Vandergrift.
Awards of Merit were given to Eric Feather of Imler, Sandy Jackson of Ligonier, Maura Koehler Keeney of Latrobe and Terri Perpich of Vandergrift.
The exhibition features 75 works from 75 individual artists from Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Clarion, Clearfield, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Venango, Washington and Westmoreland counties.
Featured work will span a variety of media, including oil, acrylic, watercolor, metal, pastel, ceramic, stone and photography.
This installment marks the eighth consecutive year the exhibition is being shown at the Ligonier Valley museum.
Information: (724) 238-6015 or www.sama-art.org.