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Photo: Jason Farmer, License: N/A, Created: 2016:12:04 16:46:14

Harmony Lawrence, 4, of Old Forge, discusses important matters with Santa during Snow Forge in Old Forge. The upcoming event will help raise funds for next edition. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE TIMES TRIBUNE.

Can’t wait for Christmas?

Lucky for you, you can get into the holiday spirit a few months early thanks to the folks behind Snow Forge.

On Friday, July 20, the Snow Forge committee will hold its annual Christmas in July Happy Hour fundraiser from 7 to 10 p.m. at Arcaro & Genell’s, 443 S. Main St. in Old Forge.

Tickets to the 21-and-over event are $30 in advance and $35 at the door the night of the event. Advance tickets can be purchased at For more information on the event, visit the Snow Forge Facebook page.

All proceeds from the event will benefit Snow Forge, the yearly Christmas-themed, family-friendly extravaganza held along Main Street in Old Forge. This year’s fifth annual Snow Forge is set for Dec. 2.

Snow Forge is always free, making fundraising a crucial part of the equation. The event’s 10-person committee receives a Lackawanna County grant every year, as well as donations from local businesses. But, the Christmas in July Happy Hour is the biggest funding source of all, typically raising enough to cover more than half of Snow Forge’s budget.

“In order to offer Snow Forge for free, we do this fundraiser,” said Snow Forge committee member Lisa Casella. “It’s really critical to the success of the December event. And we’ve had a great response the past couple years we’ve been doing it. We’ve had great attendance.”

The happy hour will come with its usual Christmas in July theme, complete with Christmas decorations and an appearance by Santa. Admission includes food (pizza, stromboli and other finger foods), beer and wine (mixed drinks cost extra), and chances to win several cash prizes.

Live entertainment will be provided by the acoustic duo One Night Only, which consists of members of the local band Pink Slip.

“They’re a lot of fun. And they play a lot of feel-good music. We bill this as a happy hour event, so we thought we’d add some live entertainment to the mix,” said Casella, noting the past couple happy hours featured deejays.

In addition, the event will feature a number of raffle prizes, including baskets and gift cards from local businesses. Some of the big-ticket items include: a signed Philadelphia Flyers hockey puck; suite tickets for a Philadelphia Phillies-New York Mets game; passes to Bee’s Backyard at the Marketplace at Steamtown; season passes to Montage Mountain Waterpark; a grill; a fire pit; and a lithograph autographed by Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.

And there will be fun games, too, including a Plinko board and a dunk tank.

“We’re not sure yet who will be in the dunk tank. Most likely it will be some local celebrities,” Casella said.

Snow Forge has become a yearlong endeavor for its planners, but events like the Christmas in July Happy Hour make all the hard work worth it in the end, according to Casella.

“It’s just a fun night,” she said. “It’s a fun Friday night in Old Forge for a good cause.”

If you go

What: Christmas in July Happy Hour benefiting Snow Forge

When: Friday, July 20, 7 to 10 p.m.

Where: Arcaro & Genell, 443 S. Main St., Old Forge

Details: Tickets to the event are $30 in advance and $35 at the door the night of the event. Advance tickets can be purchased at For more information on the event, visit the Snow Forge Facebook page.