HOLLIDAYSBURG - With Thanksgiving around the corner and temperatures dropping across the region, the start of the Hollidaysburg Community Partnership's Winterfest is fitting.
The annual parade will be held at 2 p.m. today. Hollidaysburg Main Street Manager Jamie Baser said about 40 groups will be participating. Charlotte Ames of WTAJ will be the parade's emcee.
Terry Wilt, who was named Hollidaysburg's citizen of the year, is this year's grand marshal, Baser said.
The parade will start at the Hollidaysburg Area Junior High School and then travel up Union Street, though the Diamond and onto Front Street, she said.
Winterfest events will continue Friday with the annual Light Up Night, which begins at 5 p.m. The Diamond tree and the star on Chimney Rocks will be lit at about 7:10 that night, Baser said. Fireworks will follow.
A soup sampling will also be held as part of Light Up Night. Robyn Chamberlain, who works at the Knickerbocker Tavern in Altoona, said she has been participating in the sampling for about 14 years, including eight or night with her current employer.
If you go
What: Winterfest Parade
When: 2 p.m. today
Where: Downtown Hollidaysburg
She said she'll begin making the soup for the event beginning Monday and then will make multiple pans of it through Thanksgiving.
Chamberlain said she keeps coming back for the people who enjoy what she makes.
"I have a lot of followers out there," she said. "I almost didn't get involved the past couple years, but I just don't want to let them down."
Allegheny Creamery and Crepes, Argonne Cafe, Black Dog, Donut Connection, The Dream, Hoss's, Main Moon, Marzoni's and Prime Sirloin will also bring soups to the sampling.
On Saturday, the Diamond will host a fashion show as part of Small Business Saturday, which promotes local retailers during the holiday shopping season.
Chrissey Wagner, the proprietor of JEMS Funky Consignments, said each of the stores will gather six or seven models and outfits for each.
She said the show, which begins at 1 p.m. on the Diamond, will help remind visitors in town for the holidays of the options in Hollidaysburg.
"It's just kind of a nice closeness for this small town," Wagner said.
Along with JEMS, Beerbower Jewelers, Diamond Bridal Collections, JEG Boutique, Kevin Charles Fine Clothing, Lester's Formal Wear and the Locker Room will showcase outfits. VIP tickets to the fashion show are available for $5, which will give attendees a seat near the stage and 15 percent off at the participating stores.
The stores will also offer other specials and events throughout the day, including food, music and demonstrations, Baser said.
The Hollidaysburg Community Partnership is also promoting other events throughout December, including later shopping hours, caroling and movie nights. A full list of those activities is available at the partnership's website, www.hollidaysburg.org.
Mirror Staff Writer Paige Minemyer is at 946-7535.