Carols, cookies, crafts and more: Greencastle-Antrim gets set for Heritage Christmas

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot

Center Square will be filled with the holiday spirit during the Greencastle-Antrim community's Heritage Christmas from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Fridays, Dec. 3 and 10.

Community vendors, entertainment and children's activities are on tap during the celebration organized by the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce. Events also are planned at Allison-Antrim Museum and the High Line Train Station, while the Pop-Up Shops at the Aura are new to the downtown scene at 6 E. Baltimore St.

Four Square Gospel Church is among the church and community groups that participated in Heritage Christmas in 2020. The church will be offering soup, cookies and novelty items this year on Dec. 3.

The chamber's Holiday House on the northwest corner of the Square will be information central. This year's Heritage Christmas ornament "Claus and Paws," in honor of pets that joined families during the pandemic, can be purchased at Holiday House for $20. It features a dog and three kittens under the mistletoe.

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Information about Heritage Christmas also is available by calling the chamber at 717-597-4610 or visiting

Heritage Christmas 2021

Heritage Christmas visitors will be greeted by characters like Apple Annie, Christmas Angel, Christmas Snowman and Elves, while Uncle Bean will twist and turn to make his popular balloon creations.

Uncle Bean and his balloon creations are a popular part of Heritage Christmas and he will be on hand Dec. 3 and 10, 201.

Around the Square, people will find hot dogs courtesy of Mason Dixon BSA Troop 99; soup, cookies and novelty items by Four Square Gospel Church (Dec. 3); Christmas ornament kit at the Chatty Chameleon (Dec. 3); hot apple cider and popcorn from First United Methodist Church; Christmas bows made by the Greencastle-Antrim High School Class of 1972; a scavenger hunt by Venture Crew 95; s'mores by Rhodes Grove Camp and Conference Center; cookies by Trinity Lutheran Church of Greencastle; candy by Visiting Angels (Dec. 10); Biser Farms; Lizzy's; Mama K's Bun; and Carlene's Kitchen (Dec. 10).

Emily DeGrange enjoyed a s'more from Rhodes Grove Camp and Conference Center during Heritage Christmas in 2020. The treats will be toasted up again during this year's celebration on Dec. 3 and 10.

Santa will be waiting to have his picture taken with children at the Life Center on North Carlisle Street, where there also will be make and take cookie kits and crafts. On Dec. 10, the Life Center will host Bings and Potts Puppet Show at 6:15 p.m. and a magic show at 7:30.

Clarissa School of Dance will perform on the Square at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3.

The first evening of Heritage Christmas also will feature Cans, Coins, Cards and Carols by the G-AHS chapter of the National Music Honor Society. In addition to Christmas tunes, the service project includes collecting canned food and coins for the G-A Food Pantry and cards for military friends and family. Donations can be dropped off at other times at the high school.

The entertainment lineup on Dec. 10 includes St. Maria Goretti Chorus, 5:30 p.m.; Cumberland Valley School of Music at 6:30 p.m.; and Shayne Carmack at 7:30 p.m.

During Heritage Christmas — and anytime before Dec. 17 — children can drop their letters to Santa in the bright red mailbox on the northeast corner of the Square. If they include their name and address, they will receive a response.

Beyond the Square

In keeping the the "Claus and Paws" idea, the chamber is sponsoring a "Pets are Family, Too" photo contest. People can cast $1 votes for the most festive cat, dog and other animal through Dec. 19. Proceeds benefit Antietam Humane Society.

'Claus and Paws' is the theme of the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce's 2021 Christmas ornament.

The list of area homes decorated for the Light It Up contest will be announced soon. The winner will be selected by $1 votes, with the money going to the G-A Food Pantry.

The chamber's Shop Small Sweepstakes for a chance to win cash prizes continues through Dec. 17. To enter, shoppers need to make purchases at five different chamber member businesses between Nov. 20 and Dec. 17; fill out a Shop Small ticket; and take their receipts and ticket to the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber. Tickets are available at the chamber office, local businesses and, during Heritage Christmas events, at Holiday House.

Step back in time at Allison-Antrim Museum

Allison-Antrim Museum, 365 S. Ridge Ave., will host a Heritage Christmas open house Friday, Dec. 3, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Members of the board of directors will be hosts and hostesses.

"Experience this historic Civil-War era home after dusk in the low light of the evening," said Bonnie Shockey, president of the museum, who will be dressed in Civil War period attire, as the lady of the house, Martha Irwin, may have been in 1860.  

Guests will enter the Irwin House through the grand boxwood entrance and into the parlors. The two parlors will be decorated for the holiday season as they would have been during the Civil War. Musicians Pat Beard and Connie Bishop will also add to the Christmas atmosphere.

An 1800s, one-horse drawn sleigh, made in Mercersburg, will be displayed on the kitchen porch during the Heritage Christmas open house at Allison-Antrim Museum on South Ridge Avenue.

A Della Robbia fruit arrangement will grace the transom of the front door. Roping on the banister, fresh greens, including cuttings from the 161-year-old boxwoods on the premises, will decorate the parlors. A tree adorned with dried fruit, gilded walnuts, Marzipan fruit candies, gingerbread cookies and Civil War flags will take visitors back to a much simpler time.

Visitors will exit through the back hall door and will be guided to the Barn by luminaries. In the Barn, an exhibit of Kitsie Hicks' collection of creches from around the world will be displayed in the South Exhibit Bay. As guests exit, each will receive a “cookie-to-go.” 

An 1800s, one-horse, drawn sleigh, made in Mercersburg, will be displayed on the kitchen porch of the museum facing Ridge Avenue.

Masks are encouraged. 

Allison-Antrim Museum is in its 23rd year of collecting, preserving, and displaying the history of Greencastle and Antrim Township. It is open regularly Tuesday to Friday, noon to 4 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information is available at 717-597-9010, on Facebook, Instagram @allison_antrim, Twitter @greencastlemuzm and

All aboard at the High Line Train Station

The High Line Train Station on South Jefferson Street will be open from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. the first two Fridays of December during the Heritage Christmas celebration.

The station also will be open the same hours on Friday, Dec. 17.

There will be an O gauge model railroad display set up in the main room. In partnership with the Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library there will be a reading program for the kids in the backroom.

Seating for the reading program is limited and parents should contact the library (717-597-7920) to sign up. The library will be handing out free books and goodie bags for the children.

There will be three readings each evening, scheduled for 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30. Dec. 3 will feature “How to Train A Train” for 2- to 5-year-old children. Dec. 10 will feature “The Caboose Who Got Loose” for 4- to 7-year-old children and Dec. 17 will feature “The Polar Express” for children of all ages.

The annual High Line Train Station ornament features the ticket window this year.

Visitors also will be able to purchase the High Line Train Station’s annual ornament. The 2021 ornament features the ticket window from the stationmaster’s office.

Double-sided, the office had a ticket window on the front side for passenger service and a second window on the back side for freight service.

The raised panel sliding door and buff brick frame provide a window where visitors can get a glimpse into the past when the railroad was in its heyday, according to Scott Sutton, president of the Greencastle Area Youth Foundation, which oversees the historic train station.

"The cast iron Greencastle sign that hangs above the ticket window today came from the rear canopy and was rescued by the Boy Scouts from souvenir hunters and the elements when the railroad ended passenger service," he explained. "Originally painted the iconic Tuscan red color of the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Scouts repaired cracks in the sign and repainted it green for Greencastle."

The ornament is handmade and kiln fired by a Greencastle potter.

The cost is $15 and all proceeds support the High Line Train Station.

The ornament may be ordered for pick up at other times by emailing

Pop in and visit the pop-up shops

Laura Wallace, new owner of the space that formerly housed Carl's Drug Store and ELM Department Store at 6 E. Baltimore St., Greencastle, is hosting of Pop-Up Shops at the Aura.

The indoor artisan market will be open 5 to 8:30 p.m. Heritage Christmas Fridays, Dec. 3 and 10, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Heritage Christmas Saturdays, Dec. 4 and 11.

Participants include:

Lark and Barrel, macrame products

Moonflower Studios, broken china necklaces

itzi & bitzi, girls' clothing and accessories

Biser Farm LLC, artisan cheese

Four Sons Farm, hand woven and hand knitted items

Gearhouse Brewing, craft beer

Oh So Lovely Studio, contemporary handmade ceramics, including mugs, bowls, vases, trays, ornaments, planters and a few earrings

Now & the Boutique, handmade wire wrapped jewelry, handmade agate home decor and succulent and air plant arrangements

Stitchers n' More, hand-braided paracord pet collars, horse halters, dog bone keychains, bracelets and leashes

For information, go to

Shawn Hardy is a reporter with Gannett's Franklin County newspapers in south-central Pennsylvania — the Echo Pilot in Greencastle, The Record Herald in Waynesboro and the Public Opinion in Chambersburg. She has more than 35 years of journalism experience. Reach her at