Heritage Christmas to light up downtown this Friday

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
A live nativity was part of Heritage Christmas last year at Conococheague Grace Brethren Church.

This Friday downtown Greencastle will be bustling with holiday revelers enjoying the first week of the 19th annual Heritage Christmas.  A wide assortment of activities is planned for each of the three Friday evenings of Heritage Christmas (Dec. 4, 11 and 18), sponsored by the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce. While the three evenings have many similarities, there are also different events planned for each.  Here are this Friday's highlights:

Among the entertainment will be Uncle Bean, the Balloon Bender, Cecil the Cycling Clown, and caroling by Greencastle Middle Show Choir, First United Methodist Church Praise Team and Cornerstone Bible Church.  Costumed characters will include Russ and Dody Clever as Two Nuts and A Bolt, Todd Streett as the Town Crier, Shirley Stout as Apple Annie and Darlene Leasure as the Christmas Angel, who will be surprising folks with gifts from local merchants.

There will be a number of vendors, as well, selling and giving away crafts, gifts, food and beverages as well as a variety of seasonal items: Boy Scout Troop 99 will be selling Christmas trees; Trinity United Church of Christ of State Line will be selling homemade apple dumplings and crafts; The Young Disciples Class of Macedonia United Brethren will be giving away warm cider and cookies; the Foursquare Gospel Church will be giving away cookies; the Cedar Grove Mennonite Youth Group will be giving away cookies, hot chocolate and coffee; the Greencastle Democrats will be giving away hot beverages, cookies, and selling wreaths;  Greencastle Presbyterian Church will be selling homemade popcorn balls; the Family Affair Relay for Life Team will be selling baked goods; Greencastle Primary Room 206 lemonade, hot lemon tea (Alex's Lemonade Stand); and Greencastle-Antrim High/Middle School PTO selling Castle Cuisine Cookbook.

Children can get their picture taken with Santa, from 5:30 - 8:30 each Friday evening, at the Tower Bank (40 Center Square). 

Kids are also invited to the Church of the Brethren Fellowship Hall (30 South Carlisle St.) to decorate gingerbread men from 6 to 8:30 p.m. 

The Allison-Antrim Museum (365 South Ridge Ave.) will be hosting an open house from 6:30 to 8:30.   Light refreshments will be served and Terry Musselman will entertain visitors with traditional holiday music played on a dulcimer.  In the barn, Garden Smiths will give decorating demonstrations, using natural ingredients.

The Greencastle Area Arts Council will be opening the doors to Gallery 7 at 107 East Baltimore St. from 5 to 8 p.m.  Original art, fine crafts and holiday crafts will be on display and available for purchase.

The Holiday House will once again be located on the square in front of Tower Bank of Greencastle. Christmas ornaments and tickets for the home tour and horse and buggy rides may be purchased at the Holiday House.

The image on this year's ornament, the 18th in a series commemorating  places and events significant to the history of Greencastle-Antrim community, depicts the Allison-Antrim Museum barn, which was originally built circa 1860 in the German bank barn style of architecture prevalent throughout Franklin County.

The home tour will include five houses and Antrim House Restaurant for refreshments, Sunday, Dec. 13.  Tickets are available for $15 and can be purchased at the chamber office during regular business hours or at the Holiday House, which will be open on the square during the three Friday evenings of Heritage Christmas as well as from noon until 4 p.m.on the day of the tour.

Horse and Buggy rides cost $7 for a 20-minute ride and $10 for a 45-minute ride. Organizers suggest advance purchase of the tickets to guarantee preferred timeslots. The Horse and Buggy rides begin at 6 p.m. each Friday evening and the last carriage leaves the square at 9:30 p.m.

While downtown, be sure to visit the shops which Greencastle is renowned for, as well as the various Heritage Christmas vendors.  There will be free parking downtown through to the end of December.

For information visit the chamber at 217 E. Baltimore St. e-mail at or call 717-597-4610.