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Tree-lighting event kicks off borough's holiday celebration

November 20, 2004|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Seven hundred and fifty large jingle bells were given out to children and adults Friday night at the traditional Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Greencastle's Center Square.

It sounded as though all of them were being shaken in the moments leading up to the lighting of the 2,800 white lights on the large Christmas tree in the middle of the square. Another 3,000 lights decorated the other trees surrounding the square.

Doing the honors with a "magic wand" was 10-year-old Trinity Eyler, who also will serve as grand marshal of the 19th annual Greencastle Christmas parade today. The fourth-grader, who said her favorite part of Christmas is Santa, climbed a ladder and waved her wand at the tree, which was donated by Wayne and Stefanie Hart and family of Greencastle.

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Families, senior citizens and numerous children, many in strollers, filled half of the square listening to the Shippensburg German Band, holding white balloons and enjoying free hot chocolate, cookies and popcorn. Members of Brownie Troop 793, dressed as Santa's elves, stood on each quadrant distributing the jingle bells.

Lifelong Greencastle resident Frank Mowen, 75, wore a town crier costume and read the holiday proclamation. His wife, Louise, who said she has lived in Greencastle for "just 70 years," said the borough is "the best little town in the county."

Costumed as court jesters, Russ and Dody Clever of Two Nuts and a Bolt strolled the square welcoming guests and handing out candy.

"We love to do this," Russ Clever said. "It's like Bedford Falls. I love this town. I think everybody loves Greencastle."

"Every year, there are more and more people here," Dody Clever said.

In the window of The First National Bank of Greencastle, the 2004 Lights of Love scroll was unveiled. Nearly 400 donations were made "in memory of" or "in celebration of" loved ones, said Dana Given, executive director of the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce. The money was used to erect the Christmas tree and for the lights and decorations around the square, she said.

The Christmas tree lighting served as the kickoff to the 14th annual Heritage Christmas celebration.

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