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Christmas at the Russell House takes on a Disney theme this year. Every tree in the historic mansion, located at 538 Park Ave. in the Moxham section of johnstown, depict a Disney movie or character. The trees will be on display Saturady and Sunday. Photo by Todd Berkey/ The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.

The magic of Disney will be captured during the 11th annual Christmas at Russell House.

Each tree in the mansion, located at  538 Park Ave. in the Moxham section of Johnstown, is decorated to depict a Disney movie or character.

The free event, which will be held from 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Russell House, is sponsored by Moxham Renaissance, whose members volunteered to decorate a tree in a certain theme.

As this year’s chairwoman, Eileen DiBartola of Moxham desired to do a Disney theme following a trip to the Florida amusement park several years ago.

“Our family went to Disney World three years ago for Christmas, and in suggesting this year’s theme, the possibilities involving Disney seemed endless,” she said.

Thirteen trees in the mansion will be decorated in the Disney theme.

“Disney is appealing to all ages, not just children,” DiBartola said.

Many of the trees feature handcrafted ornaments. Specific trees relate to Disney’s “101 Dalmatians,” “Bambi,” “Beauty and The Beast,” “Cinderella,” “Fantasia,” “Finding Nemo,” “Lady and The Tramp,” “Little Mermaid,” Mickey and The Gang,” “Sleeping Beauty,” ”Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Tinker Bell”  and “Winnie The Pooh.”

“The exterior of Russell House also will be decorated in a Disney theme,” said Jean Tanaka, a Moxham resident and secretary of Moxham Renaissance.

The organization has had diversified themes in the past, such as “Our First Christmas,” “A Victorian Christmas,” “A Patriotic Christmas,” “An International Christmas,” “Babes in Toyland” and “Winter Wonderland.”

Christmas at Russell House began in 2000 when the structure was donated to the nonprofit organization by the late James Russell to be used as a cultural, educational and community center.

Live musical entertainment will be presented each day by performers such as Maria Naylor, accompanied by        Kathy Novak; Jonathan Freeburg and students; the Rev. Ed Schoeneck; Rachael Allen and John Bayush; Charles Holtzman Jr.; Andrew Glover, Philip Glover and Carly Chovanec; and the Croatian Educational Singing Society.

“An event such as Christmas at Russell House, which is geared to promote good will within the community, is free and open to the public and gives those who have never visited the mansion an opportunity to learn the history of the house, enjoy its beauty and learn more about the community,” Tanaka sad. “Our goal is to make everyone feel welcome, not only at Christmas but have them feel there is a community organization available to them in many other ways.”

There will be a train display, visits with Santa, crafts for children, refreshments and Misty Haven carriage rides.

There will be a fairy godmother to mingle with and possibly read to the children.

“While this is primarily an event we do to give back to the community, it also serves as a fundraiser,” said Tanaka.

Also, there will be an auction featuring up to 50 baskets. The basket drawing will take place at 5 p.m. Sunday.

 “We also will be selling poinsettias, baked goods and soy candles,” DiBartola said.

Proceeds will benefit Moxham Renaissance community programs.

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