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Mt. Pleasant's Warden house is site of 23rd Festival of Lights

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Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, 8:56 p.m.

The excitement of the Christmas season begins for many people — as far away as Philadelphia — with the Festival of Lights at the Warden mansion on Church Street in Mt. Pleasant.

In its 23rd year, the award-winning event is hosted by the Braddock Trail Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, to raise money to care for the mansion built in 1886 for coal and coke baron Samuel Warden and his wife Margaret.

As organizersAnn Roller and Roz Ashmun prepared gift bags for young visitors on Saturday, Ashmun said there has been a steady stream of guests to see a record-breaking 47 trees, which are decorated and donated by community members.

“It's a great house to decorate,” Ashmun said. “It gets you in the Christmas mood.”

Remaining dates and times for viewing are: 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, 1:30 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The trees are available for raffle or purchase, and visitors can participate in voting in the contest for most popular tree.

Roberta Hogan of Greensburg's favorite was “Poinsettia Christmas,” an entry decorated by the Mount Pleasant Business District Authority. Roxanne Rinier of Bullskin, Fayette County, liked the “Paws and Claus” tree done by Lisa Grate and her sisters, Marcie Sawlsville, Vanessa Anderson and Debbie Baughman, in honor of their mother, Anna Hart.

Jennifer Hogan of Greensburg liked “Have Yourself a Girly Little Christmas” by Cindy Stevenson, and the favorite of Romayne Rinier of Greensburg was “Winter Bird Paradise” by Lisa Cole.

If you go, you can inquire about the latest antics of Rebekah, a mischievous spirit said to protect the house. VolunteerPeggy Shepler said that, in September, some glass cleaner disappeared from the room she was working in. She and several others searched but were unable to find it. Two months later, during a membership meeting, Tracie Myers noticed the glass cleaner sitting in the same place it had vanished from.

— Dawn Law

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