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North Hills Monthly

Oakmont Hometown Christmas Kicks Off Holiday Season

Oct 31, 2014 12:54PM ● By Vanessa Orr
The holidays are almost here, and there’s no better way to get into the spirit of the season than to visit Oakmont’s Hometown Christmas celebration, which has been enchanting children and adults for more than 60 years. The event has something for everyone, from a parade featuring ornate floats to a fireworks display, and it’s a wonderful way to kick off the holidays as well as the Christmas shopping season.

“We have a lot jam-packed into a very short period of time,” said Oakmont Chamber of Commerce Director Summer Tissue, of the event that runs from 5-9 p.m. on November 22. “There’s live entertainment, horse and buggy rides, children’s Christmas crafts…and of course, meeting Santa is a huge crowd-pleaser.”

More than 10,000 people attend the six decades’ long celebration, which begins at 5 p.m. with a parade from Oakmont to Verona. “The parade features many different casts of characters, marching bands, Santa, fire trucks, dancers and more,” said Tissue. “We also have a float contest that everyone looks forward to seeing.”

The float contest is a fairly new addition to the celebration and features approximately 15 floats decorated with a holiday theme. “Three years ago we came up with the idea, and everyone from schools to individuals to families and organizations wanted to participate; it was a huge surprise to us,” laughed Tissue. “It’s amazing what people can do; we didn’t realize how far out people would go.” Past floats have included live nativities, a Run Run Rudolph theme, and Hair by Jeanne’s winning entry of Cindy Lou Who cutting the Grinch’s hair.

Musical performances this year will include Redeemer Lutheran School and the Riverview Jazz Band, along with a hand bell choir from Braddock’s Good Shepherd Parish and roaming carolers. Once the parade is finished, the boulevard will be filled with more than 100 vendors, offering all kinds of great gift ideas. The Oakmont Bakery will be providing free cookies, and there will be numerous food vendors on hand to offer sandwiches, snacks and treats.

“We’ll also be hosting a Chinese auction with beautiful prizes donated by chamber businesses, and a 50/50 drawing,” added Tissue. “And visitors should make sure to cast their vote for the most festive store window in our storefront holiday window decorating contest.” The evening will end with a fireworks display at 8:30 p.m., sponsored by UPMC Health Plan.

For more information and a schedule of events, visit the Oakmont Chamber of Commerce website at