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Tree lights up the night in Greencastle

November 19, 2005|By BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Nobody celebrates Christmas quite like the citizens of Greencastle.

During the next few weeks, the town's annual Heritage Christmas will include a home tour, a door-decorating contest, horse-drawn carriage rides and many other events.

The borough officially kicked off its Christmas season Friday night with the illuminating of the huge evergreen in Center Square. Traffic was rerouted so that hundreds of people could stand in the square to greet friends and neighbors and sing carols.

At 7 p.m., Town Crier Frank Mowen called for the celebration to begin in "the best town this side of heaven."

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The celebration doesn't change much from year to year, which is part of its charm. Russ and Dodie Clever can be depended upon to hand out candy.

Families bundle up against the cold, sip hot chocolate and transport babies in backpacks and strollers. Everyone crowds into the square well before 7 p.m., singing carols and waiting for the tree to be illuminated.

Sweater-wearing dogs on leashes share space with children holding balloons and with elves, snowmen, Victorian ladies and Brownie Girl Scouts, who were handing out jingle bells.

Wearing a warm hat and sweater, Lucky, a 3-year-old white boxer attended with owners Kristin and Ken Castillo of Greencastle.

When the big moment arrived, everyone shook their jingle bells and counted down. Callie Coleman, 10, pulled the switch right on time.

Callie won the honor in a drawing at Tony's Pizza. She will also be the grand marshal for today's parade.

Greg Hoover, Greencastle's director of elementary education, served as emcee for the event.

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