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By Jill Runfola

Even the rainy day, which coincidentally stopped at the time of the event, was not enough to keep away the crowds at North Belle Vernon Community Bank Park Light-Up Night on Saturday, November 18, 2017.

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10-month old Mia Ambrose was calm with Santa just for a moment before wanting to be returned to mom Shannon. North Belle Vernon Mayor Craig Ambrose is Mia’s grandpap.

Beginning at 6 p.m., activities began at the park, ongoing until 8 p.m. Festivities included: a visit from Santa Claus, Christmas caroling by St. Sebastian Regional School children, free hot dogs and hot chocolate, lights, a Christmas tree, and a bonfire.

At 6:30 p.m., children jumped up and down, shouting with excitement as Santa arrived on a fire truck. The children got their Christmas wish lists in order and lined up for their chance to sit on Santa’s lap. Pictures were taken with Santa, and he gave out treat bags.

Lynn Sokol, member of the North Belle Vernon Recreation Commission, said, “This will be the best year ever. Sponsored by the NBV Rec Commission, this is the 25th year for the event. It’s going to make the children happy and be a good Christmas for all.”

RJ Sokol, Lynn’s husband and NBV Councilman and Chair of Parks and Recreation, has been active with fundraising and improvements for the park. To learn more about the NBV Community Bank Park or to donate, visit



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