SHAMOKIN - The city's Downtown Christmas celebration continues to grow in its fourth year.

A number of vendors will be inside and around the Fun Shop building at Independence and Eighth streets for the event, set for 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday.

It has fittingly snowed for Downtown Christmas in the past, but many will probably be just as happy with the forecast for this year of sun and mid-40s.

The day gets started at 1 p.m. when the annual Rotary Santa Sleigh parade begins. The parade starts at Lincoln Towers at the south end of Market Street and will travel onto Independence before disbanding at the Knights of Columbus building at the east end of town.

Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus will then enter the Fun Shop building and make their way to the second floor to talk with children. Pictures will be taken upon request.

Coal Creek Stables will provide carriage rides at $5 a ticket. Tickets can be purchased above the Fun Shop where the barber sign hangs outside the window. Riders can board near Varano's Insurance at Eighth and Independence.

Pony rides for children are free and will be offered in the lot next to the Fun Shop. The rides are sponsored by Bressi Real Estate.

Carolers and musician Beverly Conrad will stroll throughout the building and outside area.

Tree decorating

Twenty Christmas trees, donated by TLC Farms, Hegins, are being decorated by local businesses and organizations for this year's contest. Those attending Downtown Christmas can vote for 25 cents each, and there will be three winners. First and second cash prizes will be given, as well as a prize for the popular vote.

Ballots can be picked up upon entering the building. One tree will be at the bottom of the grand stairway and a second tree will be placed upon entering the upstairs room; the other trees can be seen to the right in the front room upstairs. All trees will be numbered and identified.

Votes will be handed in when exiting the building. (Get a sneak peak at the trees in Friday's News-Item.)

Seating, vendors

A few seats will be placed inside the building on both levels for those who need to take a break.

Vendors and their wares include:

Outside:

- VNA, in front of their building near Fun Shop; soup and cookies; cookie recipes, health info, Beating the Holiday Blues literature.

- Coal Township 175th Anniversary Committee; selling shirts, pennants and magnets; anniversary books can be pre-ordered.

- Bear Gap Vaulting; performing in front of the parking lot and selling baked goods, hot chocolate, ribbon streamers and Christmas cards.

- Shamokin Area Class of '72; serving hot dogs, hot chocolate, baked goods and coffee.

- Nannies Fabulous Fudge, Montgomery; fudge and brittles.

- Zanella's, selling kettle corn and hot apple cider.

Inside:

- Roger Alleman, selling shelf-sitters and chances on a patriotic quilt.

- Virginia Albert, selling holiday clay pins, magnets, crochet scarves, beaded ornaments and plastic canvas items.

- Sweet Delights, Middleburg, selling homemade chocolate candy and other treats.

- Lisa Wengrenovich, selling Scentsy wickless candles.

- Kathy Masser, selling baked goods, traveling tacos and wedding soup.

- Dianne Mushinski, selling handmade jewelry, wreaths, baked goods, cancer awareness jewelry and more.

- Linda Zalar, selling homemade Christmas cookies.

- Brandon Zalar, drawing a cartoon character from his original comic book, "School of Hard Knocks."

- Ellen Sage, homemade crafts.

- Shamokin Area Class of 2013, bake sale.

- Amanda Stank, jewelry and hats.

- Paula Broscious, seasonal items and jewelry.

- In the room right inside the main door can be purchased local memorabilia, such as is sold at the Anthracite Heritage festival, and hand-dipped wax wreaths. Chances can be obtained there for two poinsettias that will adorn the stairway. Also, tree ballots can be picked up and dropped off there. All proceeds benefit Downtown Christmas.

For more information, e-mail jeannes@ptd.net or call 850-9121.