Lights of Love offers a chance for loved ones to be honored

October 12, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Lights of Love, a Greencastle-Antrim tradition that has likely been around since Heritage Christmas began in 1991, is again under way to help decorate the Christmas tree in Greencastle's center square.

"It gives people in the community an opportunity to remember their relatives both living and deceased," said Anne Larew, a Heritage Christmas Committee member.

For $6, one of the lights on the Christmas tree will be designated as "In Celebration" or "In Memory" of a loved one. The name of the person also will be recorded on a scroll that will hang in the front window of the First National Bank of Greencastle until the first of the year. The Christmas tree lighting will be on Nov. 16 at 7 p.m.

"We always have the scrolls up before the tree lighting ceremony," said Larew, who has been involved with the program for six years. "A lot of people like to walk over and look at the scroll and find the names of their loved ones."


The names for the Lights of Love program are collected at the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce until Nov. 8 and then are given to Larew and Bonnie Coladonato, who are the Heritage Christmas Committee members in charge of the program.

"There are two scrolls - one in memory and one in honor," said Coladonato, who has been involved with the program for four years.

Coladonato writes the acknowledgments for people who request to have a card sent from the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce saying that a light on the Christmas tree in center square is in honor or in memory of a loved one.

"When I see the tree in the square of Greencastle - it's nice to know that I'm honoring my parents in a very small way - and I think a lot of people feel that way," said Coladonato, who has lights on the tree dedicated to her parents each year.

Larew creates the scrolls of parchment and puts the names on the scrolls that hang in the window of The First National Bank of Greencastle.

Last year, 366 Lights of Love were sold, said Bill Gour, executive director of the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce.

Although the Christmas tree lighting begins at 7 p.m., Gour said people gather at 6 or 6:30 p.m. for the event.

"Last year we had 3,000 people packed in the square," Gour said.

Heritage Christmas begins Nov. 10 and 11 with the Shoppes of Greencastle Holiday Open House, in which participating merchants in Greencastle-Antrim will offer incentives to shoppers.

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