Nov. 17—JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — Downtown Johnstown is set to bring back the magic of the holiday season.
Discover Downtown Johnstown Partnership will host its Hometown Christmas Stroll & Light Up Night from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday in the Central Park area.
"In 2020, we realized we could not have a parade because of the pandemic, so we decided to do the stroll, and we had such positive feedback that first year that we've decided to stick with the stroll concept," said Sharon Honkus, co-chairwoman of the event.
"It's a really fun event, and this year with the addition of the lights on Main Street, it's going to make it more festive."
The stroll will feature cold-air balloons, stationary trailers and groups positioned on Main Street between Walnut and Franklin streets.
A musical performance by Dan Becker will be offered inside 416 Main St. Additional music will be provided throughout the evening in the park area.
Santa Claus in his sleigh will oversee the event from the corner of Gazebo Park and Main Street.
Alternative Community Resource Program will provide treat bags for children, and food trucks will be on hand.
"The stroll allows people to walk around at their own pace," Honkus said. "There's no start or end time, really."
At 8 p.m., people are invited to gather in Central Park for the countdown to the lighting of the animated, musical Christmas Tree @ Central Park.
"It'll be the same selections — we haven't added anything this year," Honkus said. "We're up to 11 songs and the whole program takes almost 40 minutes to run through."
The animated program will run from noon to 1 p.m. and 5 to 11 p.m. daily through Jan. 8.
This year, four new houses were added to the Christmas Village in Central Park, bringing the total close to 40.
In addition, some of the village houses will be animated to certain songs.
"The tree has changed the dynamic of Christmas in the region and people are coming from all over," Honkus said.
"The first year, we had the tree up with the original 11 houses, and it just continues to grow every year."
Additional activities throughout the holidays include the Downtown Johnstown Christmas Market from 4 to 9 p.m. Dec. 2 and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 3; Christmas Express @ Central Park from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 9 and 10; a s'mores night at 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17; and live musical entertainment from 5 to 6 p.m. Saturdays in the lobby at 416 Main St.
"We want people to come and enjoy what we put our heart and soul into with that tree," Honkus said.
"We always said we wanted this tree to be the new memory and I think we've done that. We've created a new generation of memories."