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Mt. Pleasant sparkles with holiday light

| Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, 1:16 a.m.
Marilyn Forbes | for the Daily Courier
Santa arrives on a fire truck to greet the crowds for Mt. Pleasant Borough’s Community Light-Up on Sunday.
Marilyn Forbes | for the Daily Courier
Members of St. Pius and Visitation church choirs sing Christmas carols to add some music to Mt. Pleasant Borough’s Community Light-Up.
Marilyn Forbes | for the Daily Courier
Enjoying Mt. Pleasant’s lighted manger are sisters Madison Geiger, 5; Hannah Geiger, 3; and Kaylee Geiger, 6, of Tarrs.
Marilyn Forbes | for the Daily Courier
Camille Napoleon, 13, places a blanket on the statue of the infant Jesus, part of the ceremony that has been a longstanding tradition in Mt. Pleasant Borough.

With a quick flip of the switch, the Diamond square in Mt. Pleasant Borough became awash in lights on Sunday during the annual Community Light-Up, lighting the manger nativity scene that has been a holiday tradition for decades.

“We are so fortunate here in Mt. Pleasant to have a wonderful nativity scene that we can proudly display in the center of our town,” the Rev. Rick Kosisko said. “People who drive by and see it comment on what a wonderful display it is.”

The Nativity scene was started in 1957 and has been a big part of the Mt. Pleasant holiday season ever since.

For many years, live animals were part of the manger scene and volunteers dressed as the Three Kings.

“We haven't had the live animals since the end of the 1980s,” said Cindy Underwood, Mt. Pleasant Nativity Committee chairwoman.

Volunteers and many members of the Kujawa family dedicate many hours every year to put the manger together, erecting the statues and decorating the base.

“It all came together really good this year,” Rich Kujawa said. “The volunteers worked together to get it all up and it came out really good.”

The nativity was blessed by Kosisko and the traditional placing of the blanket was performed by Camille Napoleon, 13, who has been a part of the ceremony since she was small.

Immediately following the ceremony, everyone was invited to the gazebo area for hot chocolate and cookies and a visit from Santa, who passed out treats to the children.

“This is such a wonderful, wonderful tradition,” said Grace Hough, formerly of Mt. Pleasant.

Hough now lives in Winchester, Va., and was home for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“I remember this growing up and it was always something we looked forward to every year,” she said.

The mild evening brought out a large crowd to enjoy the festivities. Underwood was humbled and touched by the support of the community.

“I am truly overwhelmed by the number of people who are here,” Underwood said. “It brings joy to my heart that so many people take part in this tradition.”

Carolers from the St. Pius and Visitation church choirs added some music to the event. The Mt. Pleasant Firemen's Band played as Santa arrived via fire truck.

“There is no better place to feel the spirit of the holiday season then here in Mt. Pleasant, Pa.,” Kosisko said.

The nativity scene is funded by donations gathered from cans located in area businesses.

Donations can be sent to “Nativity Scene,” care of Cindy Underwood, 225 W. Vine St., Mt. Pleasant, PA 15666.

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.

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