For the past three years, the neighborhoods of Newberry and Jaysburg in the city's western end have welcomed the holidays with a Christmas tree lighting, as Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive to the delight of children.
"It's a nice neighborhood/city event," said Alannah Gabriel, a coordinator with the Newberry Community Partnership speaking of the third annual lighting of the Newberry/Jaysburg Christmas Tree. "We've asked the couple to take time out of their busy schedules," she said.
The festivities are set to begin 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5 outside the Brodart building, 500 Arch St., at the corner of West Third and Arch streets.
Mayor Gabriel J. Campana is expected to welcome the North Pole couple and choose two children from the audience to help him lead the countdown to flip the switch that lights up the tree.
The tree will be illuminated in a multi-colored spectacle of lights, Gabriel said. "It's rain, snow or shine," she said.
In these challenging economic times, the generosity of donors, giving of their materials, time and talents is what is able to keep the smiles on families' faces, Gabriel said.
IF YOU GO
WHO: Residents of the city's western end
WHAT: Newberry and Jaysburg Christmas tree lighting
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5
WHERE: Outside the Brodart building, West Third and Arch streets
Once again, Steve Hulslander, a teacher at the West Branch School, is expected to bring his guitar and lead students in caroling. Hours before, Streets and Parks Department personnel will set up the tree, which is being donated by Fort Muncy Garden Center, Pennsdale, Gabriel said.
In the past, it's been a spruce tree but Gabriel isn't certain what to expect this year.
Electricity is paid for by Lamar Advertising, candy canes are handed out by Sander's Mortuary, Brodart Co. opens up its lobby for Santa and Mrs. Claus to sit and hear the children's wishes and refreshments are taken care of by the folks at Harvest Moon Plaza and Restaurant, Gabriel noted.
Gabriel said while the tree lighting is set to begin at 6:30 p.m., it's a good idea to arrive a few minutes beforehand.
"It's becoming a real social happening," she said.