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Trees herald Waynesboro's holiday season

December 01, 2006|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, PA. - Waynesboro begins its three-day Christmas celebration today by lighting not one, but four trees.

Potted by Green Arbor of Waynesboro, the four evergreens are a tribute to the 1930s when Waynesboro stood one tree on each corner of the square.

MaryBeth Hockenberry, executive director of the Greater Waynesboro Area Chamber of Commerce said the change from one tree to four trees was part of an attempt to accommodate future changes to the square and recover from the "debacle" last year when the town Christmas tree broke in two.

"This year will be a big, 'oh my gosh' improvement," she said in a previous statement.

The celebration begins today at 6 p.m. and concludes around 8 p.m. after Santa lights each of the four trees.

Carlene Wilhide, a representative of the Chamber office said the evening has more to offer than just lighting the trees. Wilhide said entertainment will precede Santa, and includes the traditional Great Gadget Giveaway by F&M Trust, and music by the Waynesboro Area Senior High School bell ensemble and Otterbein Church Adult Choir.

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Dave Besecker, music director for Otterbein Church said people can expect to hear many of their favorite holiday songs, both religious and secular, sung on tonight.

While the Chamber has made many changes to Waynesboro's Christmas celebration, Marty Schorn of the Waynesboro Lions Club said one thing has not changed, the free cocoa.

Schorn, secretary of the club, said club members will be there with cocoa as usual.

"The cocoa is free, but if people would care to donate we would accept donations for needy individuals," he said. Schorn was unsure of exactly when the club began serving the cocoa, but he knew it has been longer than 10 years.

Hockenberry said the 12-foot, fully decorated trees are much smaller than what Waynesboro is used to but that people are accepting the trees.

"We had 45 volunteers decorating the trees the Sunday after Thanksgiving," she said. "Last year we had six volunteers."

After the trees are lighted, Hockenberry said the festivities will continue Saturday and Sunday with the two-day Yuletide Celebration in downtown Waynesboro.

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