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Parade, castle tours highlight Brownsville Light-Up Night

| Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, 3:31 p.m.
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Brownsville's Light-Up Night will feature candlelight tours of historic Nemacolin Castle.

Brownsville will celebrate the beginning of the holiday season on Friday with Light-Up Night activities, as well as the first evening of candlelight tours of the town's historic landmark, Nemacolin Castle on Front Street.

The Light-Up Night, sponsored by the Greater Brownsville Area Chamber of Commerce, will feature more than 3,000 luminary candles placed throughout the town, as well as the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus.

“We've discovered that Brownsville's Light-Up Night really pulls the community together. Everyone in the community looks forward to it and the opening night of candlelight tours at Nemacolin Castle,” Frank Ricco, chamber president, said in a statement.

One of the highlights of Light-Up Night is the candlelight tours of historic Nemacolin Castle, which is one of four sites in Brownsville that is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Brownsville Historical Society, which operates the castle, will begin the candlelight tours at 4 p.m. Friday. Twenty rooms, as well as the hallway of the 22-room mansion, will be decorated for the holiday season. Many of the rooms are decorated in the manner following the traditions started by the Bowman family when they owned the mansion. Free wassail, a popular Christmas drink back in the 1700's, will be available.

The tours, which will continue through Dec. 29, will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and from 2 to 9 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The tours are $8 for adults and $4 for children 12 and younger.

The Brownsville Historical Society also will have food, entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, and Civil War and colonial encampments at the former Bowman family estate.

“The chamber's Light-Up Night is a longstanding tradition for the community. Hosting Santa is an honor for us,” said Eddie Stevenson, treasurer of the Brownsville Historical Society.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be part of the holiday parade that begins at 5:30 p.m. It will feature emergency and personal vehicles following an eight-mile route that crosses the Lane Bane Bridge over the Monongahela River.

The units participating in the holiday parade are asked to begin lining up at 5 p.m. at the Hiller Volunteer Fire Department on First St. The parade will go through upper South Brownsville, downtown Brownsville, lower South Brownsville, Middle and Main streets in West Brownsville and Blainesburg. It crosses the Lane Bane Bridge to North Market Street and continues to Union Street, the National Pike, Front Street and ends on Brashear Street.

The Clauses are expected to arrive at about 7 p.m. at Nemacolin Castle and distribute treats to youngsters.

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