Lebo Light Night to start the season

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Among the attractions at Mt. Lebanon's Lebo Light Night holiday season kickoff celebration tonight will be a musical medley of traditional holiday songs by a touring company of 22 youngsters from the Center for Theater Arts in Mt. Lebanon.

The 7 p.m. performance will be in Clearview Commons, a small park at the corner of Alfred Street and Washington Road.

"If they are an example of what our future is, I am very proud to have them representing the center," executive director Billy Hartung said.

From 6 to 9 p.m., the annual Lebo Light Night will be held on the sidewalks of Washington Road in the uptown business district; in the municipal building at 710 Washington Road; and at Clearview Commons.

The free event will feature horse-drawn sleigh rides; decorated storefronts; the singing of carols by grade school Spanish students; live entertainment by the Chalk Outlines, Southminster Bell Ringers, Mt. Lebanon High School Band, and others; the arrival of Santa Claus on a firetruck; and the 7:30 p.m. lighting of the 25-foot municipal tree in Clearview Commons.

The tree represents a municipal partnership with the Mt. Lebanon School District, with some decorations crafted and hung by students, and others erected by the Public Works Department.

New this year will be a gingerbread house contest and show. The contest registration closed Wednesday.

Entries will be displayed in the municipal building, with prizes awarded in the professional, adult, youth and team categories.

The municipal building will also house, for the first time, a 13-by-25-foot model train exhibit courtesy of the South Hills Model Railroad Club.

The municipality's Economic Development Department stages Lebo Light Night as a promotional initiative for the uptown business district.

"It's an opportunity to kick off the holiday season and have families enjoy our uptown commercial district, and for the shops to show off their menus and offerings for the holiday season," economic development officer Eric Milliron said.

Among the performers will be the Chalk Outlines, a five-member band composed of two guitarists, bassist, drummer and harmonicist/vocalist. The Chalk Outlines will perform largely unfamiliar Christmas songs, such as "Run Rudolph Run" by Chuck Berry.

At 7 p.m., 14 ringers from the high school handbell ensemble of the Southminster Ringers from Southminster Presbyterian Church in Mt. Lebanon will perform in front of the municipal building.

A handbell is a bell with a handle, and each is tuned like a piano key, with each bell being a different pitch.

The ringers' repertoire will include traditional carols like "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," "Jingle Bells," "Away in a Manger" and "Silent Night."

"It's our first Christmas event, so it gives us a chance to get warmed up," director Richard Pinkerton said.

At 8 p.m. in Clearview Commons, the group of local men will play traditional rhythm and blues tunes, but with their own holiday-themed lyrics.

The gingerbread houses and model train setup will remain on display until noon Saturday. For more on Lebo Light Night, visit: mtlebanon.org/lebolightnight.

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