Greencastle to kick off annual Heritage Christmas Friday

November 19, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- Greencastle will light up its 19th Annual Heritage Christmas celebration by illuminating the tree in Center Square Friday night at 7 p.m.

The tree-lighting ceremony marks the start of Greencastle's Christmas celebration, which continues through Dec. 18.

"We are excited," said Joel Fridgen, newly appointed executive director of the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce. "It is a good program this year."

Included in the holiday festivities are the tree lighting, parade, Heritage Home Tour and Heritage Christmas weekends.

Each year, the Christmas Celebration fills downtown Greencastle with old-fashioned Christmas activities complete with vendors, artists, musicians, volunteers dressed in period costumes and lavishly decorated homes, Fridgen said.

Having just taken over at the helm, Fridgen said this year's Christmas has mostly been the work of the Chamber Board of Directors, which began planning in the summer.


"We have a very engaged board of directors," he said.

Chairing the monthlong celebration this year is Michelle Scott of Orrstown Bank, he said.

Today starts the first of four weekends of celebration.

Traffic will be blocked on Baltimore Street just before 7 Friday night to protect the hundreds of people who fill the square each year for the tree lighting, Fridgen said.

Standing at Center Square this year is a 25-foot-tall evergreen donated by Sam and Linda Stoler of State Line, Pa.

The Stoler's tree is a perfect fit for the stone pedestal in Center Square, Fridgen said.

Often larger trees obstruct traffic flow with protruding branches, he said.

The tree will include donated "Lights of Love."

For $6, a bulb can be dedicated to a loved one whose name will be recorded on a scroll and displayed at Tower Bank, according to Chamber literature.

Riley Bitner, 8, of Greencastle will have the honor of lighting the tree tonight and marshaling the parade Saturday at 9:21 a.m.

While the tree was reduced to better fit the square, the Christmas celebration has grown, Fridgen said.

New this year is the combination of Heritage Christmas with the town's First Friday celebration.

Fridgen said artists will again be downtown to showcase their talent.

Also changing are the homes that will be featured on the annual Heritage Christmas Home Tour. Those homes have yet to be announced.

Information on all Christmas events is available at or by calling 717-597-4610.

If you go:

Greencastle Christmas Celebration

Tree lighting: Nov. 20, 7 p.m.

Parade: Nov. 21, 9:21 a.m.

Heritage Christmas: Dec. 4, 11 and 18 from 6 to 9:30 p.m.

First Friday: Dec. 4, 5 to 8 p.m.

Home decorating and lighting contest: Dec. 12

Home tour: Dec. 13, 1 to 5 p.m.

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