Christmas Walk, parade growing

The Warren 2013 Annual Christmas Parade is marching on.

On Friday, Nov. 15, Warren Main Street withdrew its special event application for a Christmas Walk on Dec. 6.

“As of, I think I talked to him Friday, he withdrew his application,” City Parks and Recreation Director Mary Ann Nau said on Monday, referring to Main Street President Dan Ristau. “He said he was not going to be able to do the event this year.”

The organizers of this year’s parade, the Times Observer and the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry (WCCBI), in conjunction with local businesses and community organizations, are moving forward with providing the activities and atmosphere residents have come to expect from the annual Christmas Walk event.

The application for the Christmas Parade is being abridged to request permission from the City of Warren to close Liberty Street from Second Avenue to Third Avenue, and Second Avenue from Liberty Street to its intersection with Pennsylvania Avenue.

The closure will open up the opportunity for the vendors and business events the Christmas Walk is known for.

Organizers are working to secure strolling carolers for the event as well.

“The WCCBI and the Times Observer are happy to be continuing this Warren tradition,” WCCBI Director of Chamber Operations Melissa Anderson said. “We are looking forward to helping ring in the holidays in Warren.”

Local businesses will be holding events around the parade route area downtown throughout the evening, including;

Authors Book Shop, 227 Liberty St., will feature guitar and vocal music from Jim McQuiston from 6 until 8 p.m.

Virg-Ann Flower & Gift Shop, 224 Pennsylvania Ave. W., will be featuring students Samantha Anthony and Alesha Bergstrom of the Culinary Arts class of the Warren County Career Center decorating Christmas cookies.

Allegheny Outfitters, 430 Pennsylvania Ave. W., will hold its first Christmas Wish Lantern Lighting. Individuals can meet at the store at 8 p.m. after the parade. Hot chocolate on camp stoves and homemade cookies will be available. Individuals can sit back and watch the lanterns float, or they can purchase a wish lantern to light.

Second Avenue Exchange, 306 Second Ave., will hold its grand opening. Food, drinks, and door prizes will be offered. Crafts, collectibles, antiques, and more will be available. A purchase of $10 or more from Dec. 1 through the end of Grand Opening Day will earn a ticket for the daily raffle, running from Dec. 7 to Dec. 24. The business will be open until 9 p.m.

Vita Bella Italian Caffe, 340 Pennsylvania Ave. W., will have ornament decorating and face painting for kids. Each child will receive a Christmas treat. The table is being sponsored by Caring For Life. Adults can treat themselves to warm holiday specialty drinks, holiday food, and pastries at ten percent off all night.

The Crossing, 350 Pennsylvania Ave. W., will have the Elks Band for entertainment from 6 to 8pm.

Order of the Arrow Boy Scouts will be selling roasted chestnuts on the sidewalk outside of PNC bank on Liberty Street.

Nice Ash Cigar, 332 Pennsylvania Ave. W., will have an artwork/photography display by Elissa Davis in the storefront next door.

Struthers Library Theatre, 302 W. Third Ave., will host the A.R.T.E./Youth Connection/A.R.T.E. Jr. programs of “Christmas Memories” at 8 p.m.

The City of Warren annual lighting of the Christmas Tree at the municipal building will immediately follow the parade.

Crary Art Gallery, 511 Market St., will host “Through Irish Eyes”, paintings by local painting legend Irish Smith. The public is invited to the opening reception on Friday, Dec. 6, from 6 until 9 p.m. Entertainment by Madrigals- A Retrospective look at the work of the late Shirley Smith, including a large number of works from her earlier days in West Virginia. Many of the paintings will be for sale, while others are on loan from local collections.

Allegheny Book Mart, 314 Second Ave., will be serving hot cider and have live musical entertainment in the store from 6 until 8 p.m.

Allegheny River Fly Fishing Company, 418 Pennsylvania Ave. W., will have marshmallow roasting, hot cider and chestnuts throughout the evening.

Allegheny Center for the Arts will present stories, music and art until 8 p.m. in the store next to Nice Ash at 332 Second Ave.. There will be Christmas stories read and told by the Allegheny Tale Spinners:

– Mark Davis: “Gift of the Magi” 6 p.m.

– Karen Davis: “Twas the Night Before Christmas” 6:20 p.m.

– Lou Cable: “The Telltale Tile,” “Christmas in the Barn,” or Christmas in the Alley” 6:40 p.m.

– Karin Davidson: a poem, “King John’s Christmas” and Polar Express 6:50 p.m.

– Ron Keeney: “Cajun Night Before Christmas, “The Swan’s Gift”, and “The Fool of the World and his Flying Ship” 7:10 p.m.

– Jeff Johnson: “Battle of Trenton”, “Christmas Rhyme” 7:30 p.m.

– Debby Hornburg: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” 7:50 p.m.

There will be Christmas songs played between story times by the Ukulele group called HULA. There will be two Christmas art projects to do: Five Finger/Handprint snowman ornaments and Christmas pages to color. People will be able to wish Warren and friends a Merry Christmas that will be filmed and put on YouTube.

Phase Two, 342 Pennsylvania Ave. W., is offering 25 percent off storewide and Christmas carolers will be in the area.

Bridges Adult Day Service, a part of Rouse, and Watt Office Supply, 217 Liberty St., will offer free pictures with the Christmas elf at Watt Office Supply.

First Lutheran Church, 109 W. Third Ave., will feature its handbell choir performing Christmas music, story telling, Christmas crafts for kids, hot cocoa and cookies, a Warren Art League art show and various displays of church activities to include prayer shawl and quilt ministries.

The Lions Club will offer sausage sandwiches for sale.

“We’re excited to keep moving forward and to ring in the holidays with an exciting event on the night of the walk,” said Times Observer Publisher Bob Patchen. “Local businesses are encouraged to get in contact with either Melissa (Anderson) or me and we’ll help promote whatever they have planned for the walk.”

Patchen can be contacted at 723-8200, ext. 606, or by e-mail at Anderson can be contacted at 723-3050 or by e-mail at

A map of events will be published in the Times Observer on Tuesday Nov. 19; Thursday Nov. 21; Saturday, Nov. 23; Tuesday, Nov. 26,; Thursday Nov. 28; Saturday, Nov. 30; Monday, Dec. 2; Wednesday, Dec. 4 and Friday, Dec. 6.

Updated maps of the Christmas walk will be posted to the Times Observer’s Facebook page to coincide with publication.

Event information is also available on the WCCBI website at