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Greencastle gets double dose of holiday cheer

First Friday is paired with the Heritage Christmas celebration

First Friday is paired with the Heritage Christmas celebration

December 04, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- With First Friday paired with the Heritage Christmas celebration Friday, downtown Greencastle got a dose of double-dipped holiday cheer.

Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce hosted both events downtown, welcoming impressive crowds.

"This is wonderful," newly appointed Executive Director Joel Fridgen said. "There are a lot of people in the square, and you can hear Christmas caroling."

Before the event opened at 5 p.m., not everyone was certain the two events could work in harmony.

"I wondered if they would take away from one another," Linda Stoler of State Line, Pa., said.

Greencastle began hosting First Friday in March in an effort to showcase the work of area artists while emphasizing retail offerings downtown.

In its 19th year, the three Fridays of Heritage Christmas have proved to be a staple for downtown each December.

Fridgen said he was confident the two events would only build upon the success of one another, drawing more people to town for the expanded list of things to do.

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After watching the events work seamlessly together for about an hour, Stoler, who volunteers with the Chamber, said she was pleasantly surprised.

"They really complement each other," she said. "It's wonderful."

As promised, the square -- bright with lights -- was bursting with things to do, buy and taste Friday.

With caroling by local church members, vendors selling baked goods, shops open late, horse-drawn carriage rides and more, the event was steadily attended until 8 p.m. when First Friday wrapped up.

"I like this. No, I love this," Pat Thomas of Greencastle said. "What other town can you enjoy something like this with friends and family?"

While adults were welcomed to taste wine, savor tapas and peruse the shops of Greencastle, Fridgen said children could enjoy decorating cookies baked by Bentley's Bakery, meeting with Santa and balloon animals.

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