The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas in Lewisburg

For years I would regale my family in New Jersey with descriptions of the holiday festivities in downtown Lewisburg. You have to see the Victorian parade down Market Street I told them. You must come to late shoppers night, hear the carolers and munch on the free goodies.

But most of all, you need to see the “tree lighting.” There was nothing like it where we grew up. Ever since my husband and I moved to Lewisburg we would take our kids to Hufnagle park. Shivering in the cold while the high school choir sang Christmas songs and the gentleman with the mellifluous voice recited “The Night Before Christmas,” we would buy hot chocolate and “ooh and ahh” when the tree was finally lit. Many towns in the area had similar tree lighting celebrations, but I had only experienced this one and I loved it.

Well, two of my sisters moved to Lewisburg this year.  When we eagerly walked to the gazebo a crowd was gathering. There was no choir. No gentleman to recite the poem. No hot chocolate. No extra lighted figures around the tree. There wasn’t even a microphone! Massive quantities of rain had been predicted I guess.  

Yikes, I thought, they’re going to think I was exaggerating all these years. But wait! There were three brave students willing to lead us in song. Mayor Judy Wagner asked everyone to join them and to sing loudly. Our dampened spirits started to lift.

A fearless volunteer jumped out of the crowd and up into the gazebo inviting us to recite “The Night Before Christmas” with her. Well, apparently we all remembered some parts of it. A young lady even Googled it on her iPhone and gave the words to our leader so we could finish with gusto.

One more song was belted out and voila the tree was lit! What fun. I looked at my sisters and both agreed it was quite a sight. It turned out better than they had imagined; what friendly people, this is going to be a great place to live they said. Thank you to all those who made this night possible and the souls who braved the moisture and sang and spoke out loud.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Mary Forzani,


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