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YOUNGSTOWN – The community will be aglow with holiday wonder during the annual Christmas in the Village scheduled for noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.

In addition, volunteers are getting a jump on the holidays by collecting and organizing goods for the annual Youngstown/Porter Community Christmas Baskets project. Boy Scout Troop 829 will go door-to-door throughout Youngstown this evening, collecting canned goods for the baskets that will be distributed to the area’s needy Saturday morning. Volunteers are invited this week to the Red Brick Building, 240 Lockport St., to organize donations and wrap gifts.

The volunteers will finish up their work just in time for the Christmas in the Village, which gets under way at 11 a.m. with free crafts at the Youngstown Free Library on the second floor of the Red Brick Building, followed by the Artisan Christmas Market from noon to 4 p.m. in the gym.

“We have vendors selling Christmas decorations, like wreaths and garlands, we have vendors with jewelry, one has jams and jellies, another sells olive oils, we have scarves, artwork – a little bit of everything,” said Kim Cudmore, the village recreation director. The event is sponsored by the Village of Youngstown and its Recreation Department.

Horse-drawn carriage rides will be offered from noon to 4 p.m. and the Children’s Party with Santa is slated for 1 to 3 p.m. in the Cora Gushee Room, with crafts, cookies, face-painting and balloon animals.

New this year are 1812 Heritage Trolley Tours, which will be offered from noon to 4 p.m., while Monti and Marsha Jones, of “Step in Time,” provide music from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in the gym.

The First Presbyterian Church of Youngstown will present the Victorian Tea from 2 to 4 p.m. in the boardroom of the Red Brick Building. The Town of Porter’s Historical Society Museum will feature a Founder’s Day exhibit on the second floor from 2 to 4 p.m. and events conclude with a tree lighting at 4 p.m. at Falkner Park.

Cheryl Butera, president of the Youngstown Business Association, said, “This is quite a nice event for our quaint little village. It’ll be a wonderful time.

“All of the businesses and restaurants will be open – and our association extends out to include Bandana’s and Ray’s Tavern on Lake Road – so there are plenty of places for people to eat,” Butera added. “And the Candlelight at the Castle event at Old Fort Niagara at 7 p.m. is just magnificent. This is a big weekend for all of us.”

The weekend wouldn’t be complete without the annual Community Christmas Baskets project, which has been delivering food to the community’s needy for more than 20 years. Last year, the group donated goods to 50 needy people and families.

Organizer Margaret-Ann “Peggy” Hanson said she is always looking for volunteers to help set up, sort and wrap presents from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today through Friday in the gym of the Red Brick Building. She noted that Thursday is always the big wrapping day.

The Boys Scouts’ collection will supplement what Hanson and her helpers will purchase for the baskets. At 9 a.m. Friday, vans and other large vehicles are needed to help pick up the group’s order at Aldi. At 5 p.m., the food is organized in boxes in preparation for delivery. And, at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, the baskets are packed and delivered.

If you know anyone who may be in need this holiday season, contact Hanson today at 745-7285. All calls are made in confidence.