Tree lighting, parade get holidays started

November 20, 2003|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

Volunteers have been busy all week preparing for downtown Waynesboro's Christmas holiday activities, among them the annual tree-lighting ceremony at Center Square Friday evening and the Christmas parade at 2 p.m. Saturday.

On Tuesday, volunteers were hanging 72 wreaths that will light the downtown during the holiday season on lampposts along both sides of Main Street from Grant to Broad streets.

Dennis Martin of Star Electric in Waynesboro strung the lights on the Christmas tree on the square earlier this week, something he said he's been doing for 20 years.


This year, thanks to several shopping excursions by Carol Henicle, executive director of the Greater Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the holiday decorating effort, Martin has hung 160 large, colorful Christmas balls on the tree.

"I cleaned out Kmart here in Waynesboro and in Chambersburg (Pa.)," Henicle said.

This year's downtown tree, a 30-foot-tall blue spruce, was donated by Ron and Margret Paesch of 144 W. Main St. The couple recently purchased the stately Victorian home at that address and found that the tree, which stood in the front yard, had outgrown its space, Henicle said.

The Paesches could not be reached for comment.

The tree officially will be turned on at 7:30 p.m. by Skylar Johnson, 11, of Willow Hill, Pa., representing Franklin County Easter Seals, Henicle said.

The Mega Toy Giveaway begins at 7 p.m. Fifty children will each be given a brightly wrapped toy worth $10. Money for that event was donated by F&M Trust in Waynesboro, Henicle said.

Parents can register for the giveaway at any downtown Waynesboro store up to 7 p.m. Friday, she said.

Frosty the Snowman will be on hand in the square to entertain youngsters, and free hot chocolate, cookies and candy canes will be available to all who attend. Christmas music will be provided by radio station WAYZ and by the disc jockey Knight Patrol.

Main Street will be closed from Grant to Broad streets from 7 to 8 p.m. Friday for the celebration.

The Christmas parade, which this year will feature more than 70 marching units and floats, gets under way at 2 p.m. Saturday. It begins at the Frick Co. on Cumberland Valley (C.V.) Avenue and ends at Waynesboro Hospital.

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