Heritage Christmas draws Greencastle-Antrim community together every year

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
The horse and buggy rides are a quite popular feature of Heritage Christmas.

Christmas pageants are in final rehearsals. The tree is lit. Santa Claus has come to town. Shopping is well underway by many. Now that it’s December, there is even more to come from Heritage Christmas as sponsored by the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce.

As is the tradition now in its 21st year, Heritage Christmas offers much to see and do for three weekends in December, this year expanded to some Saturday activities too. Ticket sales are underway for horse and buggy rides and the popular home tour.

And new too

A new feature this year will be trolley rides departing from the square every half hour beginning at 11 a.m. Dec. 10. For $2, riders get a tour of the area with guides Russ and Dody Clever. They were happy to help when asked by Heritage Christmas Committee member Gay Buchanan on behalf of the chamber.

"We try to do everything they ask us to do. We're nuts for Greencastle and they've been good to us," said Russ.

As to the tone of the narrated ride, he could only say of the couple, "We're cornballs."

A play will be presented by the children of Antrim Brethren in Christ Church at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11. "Census Time in Bethlehem" shares the Biblical account of the first Christmas. Directed by Myrna Gowing, her assistant Sarah Layton said, "We open this to the public to support our children and so they can hear the Christmas story."

No Heritage Christmas would be complete without special foods. During any of the festivities, visitors may find hot chocolate, cookies, popcorn, s'mores, gingerbread, lemonade and homemade apple dumplings. The latter will be for sale by Trinity United Church of Christ, State Line, which will set up on Center Square and use the proceeds for church projects.

So much more

Heritage Christmas will feature musical performances of talented singers and instrumentalists. Craft activities for young and old are scheduled. Entertainers will be outside. A special ceremony will recognize the people honored by Lights of Love. Apple Annie and the Christmas Angel will appear.

Belsnickels will do their thing.

"They are a Santa opposite," said Joel Fridgen, chamber executive director. "In the old days they gave bad kids coal. Ours don't do that. They will give a piece of coal and wish people a Happy New Year."

The purpose of Heritage Christmas is to celebrate the holiday as a community, bringing people together to support local businesses, and enjoy each other's company during the festivities.

For information, contact the chamber at 597-4610 or go to 217 W. Baltimore St.