The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Union County

December 1, 2013

200 brave cold for Mifflinburg tree lighting

LEWISBURG — MIFFLINBURG — How the heck did Dave Cooney get it to snow?

While Mifflinburg’s mayor greeted residents and prepared to throw the switch on the borough’s Christmas tree — an abandoned tradition he brought back four years ago — a light snow or sleet started to fall, almost as if on cue.

It was a nice touch to a freezing cold yet warm-hearted gathering Sunday night as nearly 200 people, most of them children, met at the former borough building next to the Mifflinburg Hose Company. With songs from KJ Reimensnyder-Wagner and a countdown, the tree came on, officially opening the holiday season in the borough.

Staying warm was a priority, helped along by hot cocoa and cookies available at the fire house, courtesy of D.C. Coffee & Tea Co. and Mifflinburg’s First Church of the Nazarene, respectively. A line of smiling faces trailed out of the fire-station door as people laughed and wished each other Merry Christmas.

“He’s eating cookies, he’s happy,” said Stacy Mast of her son, Michael, 4, who was bundled up inside a wagon while Mast and friend Karen Rigel, both of Mifflinburg, took in the sights. The two women said despite the cold, they were glad to be out supporting the event. Mike Rute, of Mifflinburg, felt the same. He was there with son, David, 12, and Shauna Goss, of Snyder County. Rute noted he “voted for the flower shop,” Barb’s Bouquet & Gift Basket store, for the best-dressed store window along Chestnut Street.

Businesses were open from 4 to 8 p.m. to draw people downtown before the tree lighting, encouraging people to shop and also to partake of refreshments. Many dressed up their windows for the vote, announced after deadline Sunday.

Helping with the tree-lighting honors were Union County Commissioner John Showers and Nada Gray, co-chairs of the county’s Bicentennial committee.

And if Cooney had nothing to do with the weather, apparently he does have some high-level ties to the North Pole.

“I’m here because Mayor Cooney is the best mayor,” said Santa Claus as kids started to circle him. His advice to everyone: “Be good to your parents and study hard.”

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