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Festival of Lights to return to Mt. Pleasant

| Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, 9:02 p.m.
Decorating one of the trees for the Festival of Lights is Rosalind Ashmun. Marilyn Forbes | For the Daily Courier

Combining imagination and history, the annual Festival of Lights will start this month in the historic Warden Mansion in Mt. Pleasant.

Celebrating 23 years as a holiday tradition in Mt. Pleasant, the event is hosted by the Braddock Trail Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

The event features dozens of Christmas trees decorated for the event by area groups and individuals.

“We have some wonderful trees this year,” said DAR chapter registrar Rosalind Ashmun. “We have some usual people, and we have some new groups who are taking part in the event this year.”

The event features several rooms of the historic mansion filled with brightly decorated trees.

“It's a nice event that people now look forward to every year,” Mt. Pleasant Mayor Jerry Lucia said. “It's become another Mt. Pleasant tradition.”

In addition to the Christmas trees, visitors can also get a glimpse of the interior of the old mansion, and volunteers will be happy to relate the home's history and answer questions.

Welcoming hundreds through its doors every year, the event saw record numbers last year and enjoyed an extremely busy day during the borough's annual Christmas parade, which is held every year on the first Saturday of the December.

“Last year, we had more than 900 come through our door,” Ashmun said. “It was our biggest year yet.”

Many people came into the borough to enjoy the Christmas festivities, Ashmun said, then came to the mansion for the tree tour.

“It worked out really well, and we hope to see that again this year,” she said.

All of the trees on display will be available for purchase, and all money generated from the sale of the trees and the entrance fee will go toward renovation of the historic showplace.

“Over the year, we were able to get the basement waterproofed,” Ashmun said. “I know that it's not something that people will be able to see, but it's important.”

All of the trees on display carry a theme, and every year they are different.

Some of the themes this year include “Irish,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” “Paws and Claws” and “Under the Big Top.”

Purchased trees can be picked up on the final day of the event.

“We hope to receive support again this year for our event,” Ashmun said. “We keep trying to make it bigger and better.”

A chinese auction will be held this year.

The annual Festival of Lights will be held from 1:30 to 9 p.m. Nov. 24, 25 and 30 and Dec. 2 and 7 to 9 p.m. Nov. 29 and noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 3.

Entrance fee will be $5 for adults. Children younger than 12 will be admitted for free.

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

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