A Holiday Gift to the North Hills
Written by John Fries
It's the most
fun you can have in one evening, during the most wonderful time
of the year. And, it's become a North Hills tradition and a sure
sigh that the holidays are just days away.
continues on Friday, December 1, as UPMC Passavant, La Roche College,
and the Sisters of Divine Providence again join together to present
the fifth annual Holiday Festival of Lights. The event, which
the three neighboring institutions affectionately refer to as
a "holiday gift to the community," is one of the most eagerly
anticipated holiday happenings in the North Hills, taking place
on all three adjoining campuses on Babcock Boulevard in McCandless
how this festival has grown over the past few years," said Ralph
DeStefano, Passavant Hospital Foundation chairman, who conceived
and introduced the first Festival of Lights in 1995, "and it's
wonderful that we have the opportunity to join with our neighbors
to give our community this annual holiday present, one that all
families can enjoy," said DeStefano.
more than 10,000 people packed the festival, which featured a
wide variety of entertainment, food, and the arrival of Santa
Claus. This year's event, which is shaping up as the biggest and
most exciting festival to date, begins with a noon tree lighting
and carol sing in the La Roche College Square, continues with
the 6 p.m. lighting of the Lights of Love on the Passavant campus,
and includes an 8:30 p.m. fireworks display by Zambelli Internationale.
"This is a
wonderful event that provides an opportunity for all of us to
come together, and to share the spirit of the season with our
families, friends, and neighbors," said Joe Long, president of
the Passavant Hospital Foundation. Long is co-chairman of this
year's festival with Thomas Prickett, UPMC Passavant vice president
of administration and executive director of the hospital's physician-hospital
is thrilled to once again be part of the Festival of Lights with
our neighbors, UPMC Passavant and the Sisters of Divine Providence,"
said Monsignor William A Kerr, president of La Roche College.
"The event has become an excellent holiday gathering place for
North Hills residents, both young and old, and a great way to
start the holiday season," said Monsignor Kerr.
to Sister Maria Fest, director of stewardship and resources for
the Sisters of Divine Providence, "We look forward to the festival.
It gives us an opportunity to meet many of our North Hills neighbors.
It's a great community-building event," said Sister Fest.
From an entertainment
standpoint, there will, as always be something for everyone. New
to the festival this year will be a live, "unplugged" performance
of acapella holiday songs by Johnny Angel and the Halos, sponsored
by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Joe Negri and Mr. McFeeley return
with their show, as well as the CLO Mini Stars, North Star Kids,
and Ronald McDonald. Also, a number of strolling entertainers
and costumed mascots will be interacting with the public.