There is something about a small town at Christmas. It speaks of home and family and friends, sleds and snowball fights, eggnog and pumpkin pie.
That’s just the kind of feeling Philipsburg tries to capture every year to start the season.
On Dec. 6 at 11 a.m., the holiday season starts in earnest for the Moshannon Valley with the Christmas kick-off celebration.
Local businesses downtown will be participating, looking to capture the attention of holiday shoppers with the unique offerings of individual shops over big-box stores.
Other organizations, such as nonprofit performing arts group Front and Centre Productions, will open its doors to spread awareness of its services and raise money with special events.
But noon is the moment that gets people to brave the chilly weather.
That’s when the parade steps off. It rolls up Front Street with the Philipsburg-Osceola marching band, fire trucks, floats from local businesses and churches and a lot more.
Past surprises have included a live camel, a passel of Zumba-ing elves, and one lucky woman who got the biggest surprise of all last year. Kory Fish proposed to his girlfriend, Mandy Slegle, in the middle of the festivities.
The end of the parade? Santa always takes time out from his packed holiday schedule to visit Philipsburg kids with a couple of reindeer, usually on the back of one of the fire companies’ ladder trucks.
Santa will be working overtime in town this year. At 1 p.m., he will announce a pretty big present when he draws the winning name for the Philipsburg Revitalization Corp.’s fundraiser, awarding a 2014 Polaris Ranger 570.
He will follow that up by sitting to hear kids’ Christmas wishes — and pose for some pictures for parents and grandparents — at Thieves Market on Front Street starting at 1:15 p.m.
At 2 p.m., adults can get in touch with a little bit of their own childhood with a special screening of the classic 1980s holiday movie “A Christmas Story.” For $5, you don’t just get a ticket to Ralphie’s quest for the Red Ryder BB gun. There will also be door prizes, including the coveted “major award,” a replica of the movie’s famously fragile fishnet leg lamp.