Sewickley Chamber set to host second Christmas in July

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 | 8:30 PM

Christmas in July will return to Sewickley after last year’s inaugural event appeared to help draw interest in local businesses at a time when sales typically are slower, leaders said.

The event again will feature sidewalk sales and music. It runs July 24-28, overlapping with the July 27 Night Mart.

Holding a Christmas in July festival “really was a response to slow sales in the business district for the summer months,” said Brigitte Nguyen, president of the Sewickley Chamber of Commerce. The organization is responsible for planning the event.

On July 10, the chamber received the final go-ahead from the borough, when council agreed to pay for the music.

These costs come out to approximately $900, council President Jeff Neff said.

The borough will not incur any other costs, council determined, and no roads will be closed aside from the Beaver Street closure for Night Mart.

As a whole, Nguyen said, the business district saw at least a 25-percent increase in their sales as a result of the event, with some stores reporting 50 percent to 80 percent increases. More than 40 businesses will participate, which already is more than last year.

Nguyen also said she wants to draw people from throughout the region, including areas like the North Hills and Cranberry.

She said the chamber’s advertising efforts in the coming weeks will target people in these areas, among others.

Christmas in July already has drawn the attention of WTAE-TV. According to Nguyen, Channel 4 wants to feature the event in a primetime documentary.

“The subject is Pittsburgh’s holiday traditions, and they want to feature Christmas in July,” Nguyen said.

According to the Sewickley Chamber of Commerce website, attendees can drop off non-perishable food items at select businesses throughout the Christmas in July week. Donations will help families in need this summer.

Sam Bojarski is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.