Oil City’s 22nd Annual Christmas Past is This Weekend

| December 1, 2022

OIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) — Oil City’s 22nd Annual Christmas is set for December 2-4 in downtown Oil City.

The weekend-long holiday celebration features a festive mix of holiday activities, music, art, shopping, and more in various locations throughout town, and is facilitated by the Oil City Main Street Program.

Multi-day activities include an annual Christmas Tree Exhibit at Venango Museum of Art, Science & Industry on Friday & Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., a “Make a Wish Weekend” at the Transit Art Gallery & Gifts on Friday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; and a Holiday Bazaar at Graffiti Gallery on Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Attendees may also play Small Business Bingo, enjoy downtown holiday window/storefront displays created by participating businesses as well as the city’s new snowflake decorations on North Side streets (best viewed at dusk or later) all weekend long.

The official kick-off to Oil City’s Christmas Past is on Friday evening, 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Town Square.

Sycamore Street will be closed to vehicles from Elm to Seneca Street beginning at 4:30 p.m.

New this year are free Holiday “Sleigh” Rides, on which kids and families can ride in a decorated open-air trailer with seating pulled by a truck.

Interested riders may board the sleigh beginning at 5 p.m. at the corner of Sycamore and Elm Street; the sleigh will travel along Elm, Clifford and Seneca Streets, over Veterans Memorial Bridge, Front Street, Central, East First and State Street on the South Side of town and return to the Town Square.

BPO Elks #344 will provide a refreshment concession with popcorn and candy, hot cocoa, wassail and coffee just inside their doors; the club’s restrooms will be open to the public that evening.

The Oil City Fire Department’s “Fill the Fire Truck” Toys for Tots collection will take place on Sycamore Street, encouraging donations of new unwrapped toys. The Oil City Arts Council’s new Naughty or Nice station will offer a drawing, coloring page and reindeer food, and kids may drop a Letter to Santa in a giant mailbox and pick up a kids’ grab-and-go goodie bag, sponsored by PPC Violence Free Network.

Live music with HOLeY JEANS begins at 5:30 p.m., and holiday characters from Oil City Party House will join the fun and mingle with attendees.

Santa is scheduled to arrive just in time to assist with the 6:30 p.m. Tree Lighting Ceremony coordinated by Oil City Rotary, followed by music from the Venango Catholic Bell Choir.

Santa will greet attendees in the square until 7:15, when he joins the Oil Region Alliance in announcing the winners of their annual Outdoor Recreation Business Plan Contest.

The Oil Region Alliance will also be holding a free drawing during the event for a $200 gift certificate to OARS (Outdoor Allegheny River Services) and a youth bike from Four Seasons Cycle.

At 7:30 p.m., the Performing Arts Academy with Darin will provide a brief Holiday Dance Performance to wrap up the evening.

Saturday, December 3, begins bright and early with the Oil City Main Street Program’s Jingle Bell Run (5K Run/Walk). Registration begins at 8 a.m. at the Oil City Elks, a free kid’s race will be held at 8:45 a.m. and the 5K starts at 9:00 a.m. at the corner of Seneca and Sycamore Streets and proceeds over Veterans Memorial Bridge, along Front Street to and beyond the Marina, and back along the same route.

Several streets will be affected, motorists are encouraged to use caution.

Additional events on Saturday include:

– Victorian Breakfast 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Grace United Methodist Church
– Children’s Art Show 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Oil City Library
– Holiday Happenings craft/vendor show 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Belles Lettres (with a Victorian Tea 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.)
– Sweet Treats Cookie Sale & Craft Show 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Oil City YWCA (lunch available 11a.m. to 1 p.m.)
– Victorian Christmas Bazaar 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Knights of Columbus and Victorian Christmas Bazaar Too 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church.

The Oil City Library will provide showings of the movie “Elf” at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. in their historic theater space and will also hold a Christmas Craft Workshop from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Artist’s Attic will offer Holiday Ornament Painting from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Holiday Carols with Front Porch Folk 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., and Oil Creek Earthworks Pottery Studio will hold holiday ceramic decorating from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Grownups can enjoy a Bloody Mary Bar from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Oil City VFW ($5.00 each, non-members welcome).

Saturday’s festivities wrap up with a “Goin’ Home” Holiday Concert by Venango Chorus at Good Hope Lutheran Church at 7:00 p.m.

“Oil City’s Christmas Past is an annual tradition that is the result of many different groups and individuals organizing their own event; and working together with us to wrap it into one big package,” stated Kathy Bailey, Main Street Manager. “As always, we thank the many volunteers and folks behind the scenes and the sponsors that help to support the event. We encourage everyone to come downtown this weekend to enjoy the spirit of the season, and to also support your local downtown businesses while you’re here.”

Additional details about Oil City’s Christmas Past, the Jingle Bell 5K, and Small Business Bingo can be found on the Events & News page of the Main Street website, www.oilcitymainstreet.org.


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Category: Community, Events, Local News, News

Jacob Deemer is a reporter for EYT Media Group based in Venango County. He started his career as a sports writer for a local newspaper before contributing to TheHockeyWriters.com as a beat writer for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has spent over 5 years covering sports, crime, and local news in Venango, Clarion, and Jefferson Counties.
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