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By Paul Chasko

Even on an unseasonably cold late November night, Monongahela was crowded with folks eager to see performances of local talent, and kids were lined up to visit with Santa Claus. Santa made a few stops through town and set up shop in front of his house on Main Street .

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What I really want for Christmas is...

The shopping district was nearly as bright as day with the Christmas lights turned on. A section of the street was blocked off and made a great stage for youth dance groups to perform. There were several groups from The Dance Company by Lori. Up the street a bit, Christmas Carols were being sung by a choral group. Of course, Santa was sitting in front of his house and a block-long line had formed with kids waiting to visit with him and tell him about their Christmas wishes.

At Chess Park, those in attendance could catch concert by a new local talent. Gabby Barrett is 14 years old and has been performing at various venues throughout southwestern PA. She has a great voice and, in fact, is scheduled to perform and compete on NBC's "The Voice" next season. She's produced a single and is coming out with an album – a nice collection of her songs. A schedule of her upcoming free performances can be found on her website, www.gabbybarrett.com, along with a nice sampling of her music.

Despite the cold temperatures, Monongahela's Light- up Night celebration was a great success.

Click on "gallery" to see more photos of Monongahela Light-Up Night by Paul Chasko.

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