Waynesboro dreaming of a white Christmas

November 03, 2006|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Mary Beth Hockenberry might not be able to guarantee snow, but she can promise Waynesboro a white Christmas.

Hockenberry, the executive director of the Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce, said the theme for the 2006 holiday season in downtown Waynesboro will be "white."

"We want as many white lights as possible," she said to downtown business owners at a meeting Thursday morning.

Washing downtown in the glow of white lights is only part of the plan to fix Christmas in downtown Waynesboro.

Calling last year a "debacle," Hockenberry said she and members of her office decided to start at the center of the problem, the tree.

"The tree never looks quite as beautiful as the Landis Whitsel picture," she said, referring to the local artist's rendition of a snowy holiday scene of the square from days gone by. Searching for an alternative that could continue once the square is redesigned in 2007, Hockenberry researched and found that in the 1930s, Waynesboro had not one, but four Christmas trees.


"In the spirit of the 1930s, we will again have four trees on the quad of the square," she said. The trees will fit into the theme by having white lights, not colored lights as in the past, she said.

After adding three more trees to the square, Carole Malin, main street manager, said Waynesboro will host a two-day Yuletide Celebration complete with Santa, caroling and a model railroad.

"Our goal is to bring people downtown to see Waynesboro during the holidays," Malin said.

Despite the changes planned for the holidays this year, Hockenberry said they have even more ideas and changes waiting for next year.

"You have to introduce change slowly," she explained. Malin, who planned the event for this year, said next year she hopes to have a month-long holiday celebration.

Business owners were receptive to the changes presented by Hockenberry and Malin on Thursday, many agreeing to decorate for the theme and extend hours for the season.

If you go ...

A host of holiday events are planned for downtown Waynesboro this month and next. They include:

· Nov. 18: 2 p.m. - Thanksgiving/Holiday parade

· Dec. 1: 6 to 8 p.m. - Tree lighting

· Dec. 2: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Storytelling at the Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library

· Dec. 3: Movie TBA, free to children 11 and younger

· Dec. 2-3: Open house at downtown businesses, Santa at various locations, model railroad display at former Beck & Benedict building, caroling, Santa's Secret Workshop at former Beck & Benedict building, wreaths and trees for sale

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