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Lewisburg lights up

PHOTOS PROVIDED In its second year, Lewisburg in Lights aims to brighten the cold, dark winter season after a particularly challenging year-and-a-half. This year's initiative promises to offer even more magic and warmth for the holidays. 

With frigid weather approaching outside and the holiday season just around the corner, Lewisburg’s CommUnity Zone, in collaboration with the borough, the Lewisburg Downtown Partnership and the Campus Theatre, has found a way to warm up visitors from the inside out.

In its second year, Lewisburg in Lights aims to brighten the cold, dark winter season, particularly after a challenging year and a half.

The central Susquehanna Valley’s CommUnity Zone opened its doors in 2012 with a mission of “empowering individuals and uniting the community.”

According to Cynthia Peltier, director, the nonprofit organization envisions a community where all individuals, organizations and businesses share ideas, talents and resources to contribute to a connected, caring, healthy and vibrant community.

Part of that vibrancy involves literally lighting up the borough of Lewisburg. Although the trees have been lit during the season for years, the group felt the need to do something that would bring light to darkness and bring joy and entertainment to people without having to worry about crowds.

“Lewisburg will again ignite the senses with an energetic atmosphere of lights, captivating window art and the hustle and bustle of downtown shoppers,” said Lynne Ragusea, executive assistant at the Lewisburg Downtown Partnership.

“From late-night shopping and child-focused entertainment, to tantalizing beverage and culinary delights, Lewisburg is a visual destination to safely sip, shop, savor and support.”

This year, Peltier added, the magic will be expanded.

“We are working on, each year, taking the light displays to the next level, each year adding something new and entertaining,” Peltier explained.

“The CommUnity Zone and the Lewisburg Downtown Partnership plan to collaborate with nonprofits, area businesses and inspired individuals to develop and host a series of uplifting ‘wow’ events through the cold, dark winter months.”

The lights go up early – perhaps as early as the end of October – and this year will stay up late through the area’s Ice Festival in February and possibly through March 31.

Last year, 77 lampposts were wrapped on Market Street between Front Street and Route 15, and at least 30 to 40 on a few side streets and into Hufnagle Park.

A few storefronts also have been willing to give up their windows to the cause.

“This year, we hope to reach out even farther,” Peltier declared. “We will be meeting with our ‘Light Brigade’ to discuss where and how we will light up our town again. The hope is it will be bigger and brighter this year. We have already purchased lights we will be sharing with all the businesses and residents on Market Street. We will also be working with Jeff Millay of Accent Lighting Productions to create some large ‘wow’ moments throughout.”

Bringing the community together and brightening the winter season – that’s what the initiative is all about, Ragusea said.

“There’s something quite magical about winter lights. They can lift our spirits, influence behavior and accentuate our downtown.”

www.communityzonelewisburg.org

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