Breakfast With Santa
Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.; Young Peoples Community Center (YPCC)

Making a special pre-Christmas journey direct from the North Pole, Father Christmas (Santa) is inviting kids and their families to a breakfast exclusively at the YPCC! Come join Father Christmas and the Ebensburg Woman’s Club in celebrating the holidays. To help pay for the extra hay required by Santa’s reindeer to make this special trip, admission will be $5.00 per child ages 3-10, $10.00 per adult and per child 11 and over, and children under 3 are free. Enjoy a full breakfast – Create a holiday craft – and Listen to a Christmas story!

Pre-registration is recommended but not required, walk-ins always welcome!

~Cash or check only please~

** All proceeds benefit community events*

For questions or to register, call 814-263-5254 or email or online at –

Indoor Craft Fairs
Saturday, 8:00 a.m. at Holy Name Church, Dauntless Fire Station & VFW

Visit our holiday craft fair at THREE locations as you begin your Christmas shopping. Over 100 costumed vendors on hand to peddle their wares and serve their fare. Exhibitors will display a wide variety of hand-crafted items such as clothing, home decor, baked goods, spices, wood crafts, metal sculptures, art decor, and numerous other unique products. Our craft shows focus on hand-made original crafts and products, and will grow to be the region’s largest craft show! This event is just what Santa ordered; an enjoyable, affordable place to unwind with friends and family.

The craft fair at Holy Name Church boasts 50 vendors and is open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. There is also a bake sale and food booth. The craft fair at Dauntless Fire Station, and right across the street at the VFW, are open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

A Dickens of A Downtown
All Day Saturday in Historic Downtown Ebensburg

The streets of historic Downtown Ebensburg will come alive with the Christmas spirit. Wander into a local restaurant or pub offering Dickens-era food and ale; shop for antiques and collectibles; enjoy checking out the Victorian Costumes! In “Victorian Ebensburg”, don’t be surprised if you run into Father Christmas! You will have the pleasure of walking tree-lined streets outlined by Victorian lampposts, resting on a Victorian park bench and simply enjoying an old-fashioned holiday. It’s a day right out of “Currier & Ives” in Downtown Ebensburg!

Enjoy the cressets in Penn Eben Park, filled with wood and set aflame. A “cresset” is a basket of fire. They were kept continuously alight and placed at the focal point of a community. Around it people gathered for their meetings and social discourse. From it they took fire to light and heat their own homes. Ebensburg’s cressets are hand-made based on 18th century originals.

Ice Sculptures
Saturday, 9:00 a.m. in Penn Eben Park

An outstanding display of carved ice sculptures will be located in Penn Eben Park. Come and watch the talented ice carving team sculpt 23 seasonal images! During Dickens of a Christmas, ice is just the tip of the iceberg.

Snow, Ice and Christmas often go together. The reason that we think of Snow and Ice at Christmas is attributed to the Victorians! It was the Victorians who gave us our “traditional” Christmas in Europe and the United States. At the start of the Victorian era (1837), Britain was in a mini ice age that was from about 1550 to 1850. During this time, in London, a winter fair was held on the frozen River Thames.

When Charles Dickens was a child, Britain had very heavy snowfalls around Christmas, so when he wrote A Christmas Carol he put lots of snow and ice in it! He also put snow at Christmas in some of his other books like The Pickwick Papers. Charles Dickens’ books were very popular (and still are!) so when the Victorians read the books, they thought of snow and Christmas together!

Global Fat Bike Race & Patio Party
Saturday, 9:00 a.m.; Pour on Center, 102 South Center Street

Join fellow bicyclists for a race from Ebensburg to Nanty Glo and back along the Ghost Town Trail. Registration begins at 9 a.m. at Pour on Center. The race begins at 10 o’clock at the trailhead. Following the race, return to Pour on Center for a patio party with ten different breweries. Cost is $20/rider. Sponsored by Pour on Center and City Cycle.

Rotary Club Hot Chocolate Booth
Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Penn Eben Park

The Ebensburg Rotary Club will be giving out FREE hot chocolate in Penn Eben Park. Stop by on your way to see Santa Claus!

Model Railroad Display
Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.; First United Church of Christ

Visit the First United Church of Christ on East High Street and view a model railroad display. The display is open 9:00 am to 1 pm.

Model railroading has become an integral part of Christmas in America. Ironically, it is undeniable how much Dickens abhorred the rail system and the impending industrial revolution that was to sweep England (and the world) in the mid-nineteenth century. Dickens writes of railways as though they were the epitome of gloom and doom, catastrophic, as demonstrated in Dombey and Son. Charles Dickens seems to be mourning the death of a different life, one he will never return to. Dickens was using the railway and the death of a particular lifestyle as a metaphor for the death of young Paul Dombey.

Charles Dickens is mentioned in most books that were written on the history of the British Rail system, which is indicative of the fact that Dickens’ critique of the railways and the industrial revolution must have reached far beyond the pages of Dombey and Son.

There is no charge for this event.

Vendor Fair & Basket Raffle
Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; First United Church of Christ, Jenkins Education Building

Find your favorite direct sales vendors like Lularoe, Tastefully Simple, Origami Owl, Scentsy, Tupperware and many more at the First United Church Christ vendor fair! Proceeds from the vendor fair will benefit the First UCC Sunday School program and activities. Refreshments available for purchase.

Christmas Parade
Saturday, 11:00 a.m.; Downtown Ebensburg

The Ebensburg Christmas Parade is a grand tradition! The theme for this year’s parade and other events is “A Victorian Christmas”. The parade begins at the middle school, proceeds down North Center Street, turns right onto West High Street and finally north on Julian Street. The center of town is your best seat! The parade will include holiday floats, local civic organizations and churches, fire equipment, dancers, marching bands, and more. As always, a very special guest from the North Pole will signal the end of the parade and the beginning of the holiday season!

Residents and visitors are encouraged to dress in Dickens-style costume for the parade and their afternoon in Downtown Ebensburg!

Children’s Treats & Photos
Saturday, immediately following parade; Penn Eben Park

As soon as his duties with the Christmas Parade are discharged, Santa Claus will visit the gazebo in Penn Eben Park. There he will distribute free Christmas treats to all good little urchins (compliments of the Lions Club)! Mom & Dad are free to take photos of the kids with Santa, or the Dickens staff will take a photo for you and email it to you later. Photos are free, compliments of Claire Therese Photography!

Live Nativity & Inside Nativity Festival Displays – with light refreshments
Saturday, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.; Ebensburg United Methodist Church

In this busy holiday season, take some time to pause and remember the story of Jesus’ birth by stopping by our Live Nativity Journey. Let the Story speak for itself as members of the church portray this ancient story in simplicity and beauty as it continues to bring hope and light into our dark world. Don’t let the rush of Christmas push out the true reason for our celebration. After your journey, please join us in our Fellowship Hall for light refreshments and tour our church family’s Nativity Festival displays. A sight for all to see and enjoy this wonderful season.

Old English Prison Tour
Saturday, Noon – 4:00 p.m.; Former Cambria County Prison

The English practiced a peculiar form of punishment for someone who could not pay their bills – a special prison where the offender was incarcerated indefinitely until his creditors were satisfied. The fact that a person in prison was unable to work to earn the money necessary to repay the debt did not enter into their logic. Debtors often died in these prisons due to the terrible living conditions.

Dickens’ father was constantly in debt, and in 1824 he was imprisoned in Marshalsea debtor’s prison. Charles Dickens was forced to leave school at the age of 12. It was his personal experience of factory work and the living conditions of the poor that inspired Dickens to frequently write of workhouses and prisons. For example, in Oliver Twist, Dickens describes Fagin crossing “a gloomy passage lighted by a few dim lamps, into the interior of the prison”. In A Visit To Newgate, he refers to “the tortuous and intricate windings” of the prison. Dickens was a true champion of the poor, and repeatedly pointed out the atrocities of the system through his novels.
The former Cambria County Jail was built in 1872, approximately 50 years after Dickens’ father served his sentence, and two years after Dickens’ death. While certainly not festive, many visitors will enjoy the opportunity to inspect the 19th century lockup. Distasteful and uncomfortable circumstances were common in Dickens’ writings. Of his masterpiece, A Christmas Carol, Dickens said, “I have endeavored in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.” Stop by and visit Cambria County’s version of “Newgate”, London’s infamous prison.

Remember when the charity fundraisers came to Scrooge’s office looking for a handout for the needy and Scrooge responded gruffly, “Are there no prisons… and the Union workhouses, are they still in operation?”

Admission for this event is free.

Sleigh and Carriage Rides
Saturday, Noon – 4:00 p.m.; Downtown

Experience an old-fashioned horse-drawn sleigh ride or carriage ride through charming Ebensburg. Your ride will take you over the meadow, through the woods to grandmother’s house. Let our holiday sleigh take you back to yesteryear and become a part of your family tradition. You and your whole family will enjoy this nostalgic ride. Warm up with hot chocolate, spiced cider and coffee upon your return.

Carriage & sleigh rides are only five crown ($5.00) per person.

Holiday Open House at the Cambria County Historical Society
Saturday, 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 pm; Historical Society, 615 North Center Street

Join us for our annual open house in the holly-decked halls of the A.W. Buck House, home of the Cambria County Historical Society. Refreshments, tours and more. Our Christmas tree in the library is always a holiday delight.

The A.W. Buck House was built in 1890 (only 20 years after Dickens’ death) in the Victorian Queen Anne Style. The house belonged to a well-known local banker, and more recently served as a convent until the Society acquired it in 1991. There is no charge for this event.

Betsy Pike’s Students String Recital & UCC Christmas Recital
Saturday, 12:30 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. ; First United Church of Christ, 217 East High Street

The annual Christmas Recital at First United Church is a Dickens highlight each and every year. Visit this old Historic Welsh Independent Church established in 1797 – The first church in Cambria County.  Experience the past in style as you celebrate our “Dickens of a Christmas” concert featuring your favorite Christmas songs. Betsy Pike’s students will perform a string recital at 12:30 p.m., followed by the Adult and Children’s Choir, Bell Choir and La Bella Musica performing favorite Christmas music at 2:00 p.m. Come early – the kids won’t want to miss the model train display in the church basement.

Courthouse Decorating Display
Saturday; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. & 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Cambria County Courthouse

County employees do a terrific job of decorating the courthouse row offices for the holiday season. The courthouse is open to visitors Saturday during scheduled times and is a stop that the entire family will enjoy.

The Cambria County Courthouse was originally constructed in 1880, a decade after Dickens’ death. Major additions were made to the building in the early 20th century. it stands today in its original splendor as an example of Victorian Second Empire architecture.


Children’s Activities at the YPCC
Saturday, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Young Peoples Community Center

Come by the Young Peoples Community Center for some Merry Christmas party games. The YPCC is the place for great Christmas games that are ideal for all ages. In order to cover costs of materials, all events at the YPCC have a $2.00 fee per child ages 4 and up; children 3 and under are free.

Cresson Lake Playhouse Holiday Production of “A Cresson Lake Playhouse Christmas”
Saturday, 2:00 p.m.; Cambria County Courthouse

As part of Ebensburg’s “Dickens of a Christmas” celebration, Cresson Lake will be “singing in the holidays” with a program of Christmas music performed by some of the best vocalists in the region. We’re also including a sing-along of carols with the entire audience.

Performances are Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2:00 and 7:30 p.m. in the beautifully restored Courtroom #1 at the Cambria County Courthouse, 200 S. Center Street in Ebensburg. Tickets are only $10 and will be available at the door and by calling 814-472-4333.

Pipe Organ Christmas Recital
Saturday, 3:30 p.m.; Ebensburg Presbyterian Church

The Ebensburg Presbyterian Church will be hosting the first Pipe Organ Christmas at 3:30-4:40 p.m. on December 3rd.  Recitalists will include Melissa Douglas, Tom Nagy and other local area organists.  The recital will feature various arrangements of favorite Christmas hymns and a hymn-sign of hymns chosen by the audience.  The recital is free to the public, but donations towards the restoration fund of the historic organ are appreciated.  Light refreshments will be served.

About our organ:   The M.P. MÖller pipe organ at Ebensburg Presbyterian Church has serviced the congregation since 1915.  The placement of the organ above the floor followed the advice of Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the famous missionary physician, theologian and organ scholar.  Mechanisms were switched to electric in 1947 and the trumpet stop was added in 1976.  The church has recently begun a fundraising campaign to restore the organ based on the guidelines of the Organ Historical Society (OHS).

Two Enchanted Evenings – A Madrigal Christmas Story
Mount Aloysius College, Bertschi Center and Technology Commons
Saturday, 6:30 p.m. & Sunday, 4:30 p.m.

Our royal Lorde and Ladye hereby invite you to experience with us 46 years of friendship through laughter and song. Join your fellow revelers in the hall for a toast to the Mount Aloysius College Madrigal Feaste. From the first flurry of their majesty’s performers, musicians, singers, dancers, and fools, ‘till the music warmly closes the evening, we will recall the memories and the friendships this grand event has produced. Start your Christmas Season with a heart full of love and laughter.

Enjoy this interactive dinner theatre with a five-course meal announced by fanfare and accompanied by song, stories and festivities!

Individual Reservations:
$42 per person
Dinner and Theatre Presentation

Senior Citizen Reservations:
$35 per person (age 62 and older)
Dinner and Theatre Presentation

Costumes Encouraged ~ Tables seat six (6) ~ Not appropriate for children under 8 years of age

To purchase tickets, choose a date above or call the Office of Institutional Advancement at 814-886-6396.

Seating is limited and table assignments are based upon date of paid reservation.

Bonfire & Sled Riding
Saturday, 7:00 p.m.; Cambria County Fairgrounds (West gate)

Huddle up to a ‘Dickens of a Bonfire’ at the Cambria County Fairgrounds this year. Bring your lawn chairs, friends & family and something warm to drink as you celebrate the season. Weather permitting, the fairgrounds will be open for sled riding all weekend long.

Cresson Lake Playhouse Holiday Production of “A Cresson Lake Playhouse Christmas”
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Cambria County Courthouse

As part of Ebensburg’s “Dickens of a Christmas” celebration, Cresson Lake will be “singing in the holidays” with a program of Christmas music performed by some of the best vocalists in the region. We’re also including a sing-along of carols with the entire audience.

Performances are Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2:00 and 7:30 p.m. in the beautifully restored Courtroom #1 at the Cambria County Courthouse, 200 S. Center Street in Ebensburg. Tickets are only $10 and will be available at the door and by calling 814-472-4333.