Tree-lighting and parade usher in the holiday season

Andrea Rose For Echo Pilot
The Shady Grove Scouts were among the groups that endured the rain to participate in Greencastle’s Christmas parade Saturday morning. JOHN IRWIN/FOR ECHO PILOT.

Thirteen years ago when Autumn Mountz was a baby, her parents took her to the square for the annual tree lighting in Greencastle. This year was the first time the teen has been back to the event and she dressed for the festive occasion in a plaid coat and fur hat.

"I wanted to see the tree lights," she said with a grin. "I figured it would be cold."

It was cold, but dry Friday night. The same could not be said for Saturday morning, when marching groups, float riders and other entries put up with a miserable rain to march in the annual Christmas parade.


Autumn was one of hundreds of people who packed the square for the big event Friday night.

"This is the best little town this side of heaven," said Greencastle's faithful Town Crier, Todd Streett, as he opened the ceremony.

The event also included a performance by the Greencastle Christmas Quartet and holiday renditions from the Greencastle-Antrim High School Band under the direction of Robert Bennett, plus the annual jingling of the Christmas bells, provided by Antrim Way Honda.

The event included a somber time, too, as organizers held a moment of silence for Aldine Martin, owner of Sunnyway Foods and locally known as "Mr. Blue Lights," who passed away Friday during an accident while putting up Christmas lights.

Popcorn, hot apple cider and hot chocolate were provided by The Greencastle Exchange Club, Coldwell Banker Residential and BB&T.

The lights on the tree included Lights of Love, sponsored by Blaise Alexander Chevrolet of Greencastle, and the names of those honored are on display in the window of the property owned by Off-Center Properties on antique scrolls.

For more information on Heritage Christmas events, visit