Annual holiday Festival of Lights warms historic Mt. Pleasant mansion | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Annual holiday Festival of Lights warms historic Mt. Pleasant mansion

Mary Pickels

The Braddock Trail Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, will host its 30th annual Festival of Lights, offering 45 decorated trees for visitors to enjoy in the historic Samuel Warden Mansion in Mt. Pleasant.

Upstairs and down throughout the 132-year-old Victorian house, guests can admire the trees and vote for their favorite.

Officers and members are putting the finishing touches on the decorations, after having spent several weeks cleaning the large home and unpacking storage bins.

“A core group of us still have our knees and hips,” joked Debra Newill, chapter regent.

Individuals, organizations and businesses decorate the trees, often year after year. “Some of it goes from mother to daughter and daughter to grandchildren. It’s a tradition for many families,” Newill said.

“We have one family, she’s been doing this with her four granddaughters for probably 15 years,” said Rosalind Ashmun, chapter registrar.

“They are all unique,” Newill said. “And they are all for sale.”

Between 700 and 800 people typically visit between the two weekends, Newill said. Proceeds benefit the DAR Renovation Project, the officers note.

Angels, bells and Big Bird

Angels of various sizes adorn the top of a piano in the mansion’s aptly named angel room.

Throughout the room, trees stand testament to their decorators’ creativity. Soda can tabs are threaded with ribbons, Popsicle sticks become tiny sleds.

In the bell room across the hall, bells nestle atop a mantle and another piano.

Teddy bears, Santas and outdoor nature themes — owls, skates — make for whimsical trees.

Upstairs in the blue and silver room, trees include one decorated with tiny theater playbills, another dedicated to the Disney film “Frozen,” and another with a red, white and blue patriotic theme.

As a tribute to Sesame Street’s golden anniversary, Ashmun has decorated a bright yellow, 8-foot tree celebrating Big Bird’s 50th birthday. The tree is one that will be raffled off, along with numerous baskets full of prizes.

Themes for trees available for sale in the Santa room include nutcrackers, Harry Potter and books and lanterns, celebrating Mt. Pleasant Area Library’s 80 years of “lighting the path to literacy.”

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter .


1972070_web1_gtr-liv-mpfestival003-112819
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
The bells room in the Braddock Trail Chapter House of the Daughters of the American Revolution is decorated for the holiday.
1972070_web1_gtr-liv-mpfestival001-112819
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Cookies and punch will be served in the dining room overseen by an 8-foot-tall Christmas tree, during the Festival of Lights at the Braddock Trail Chapter House of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Mt. Pleasant.
1972070_web1_gtr-liv-mpfestival011-112819
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Regent Debra Newill sits surrounded by Christmas trees as the Daughters of the American Revolution Braddock Trail Chapter prepare for the Festival of Lights.
1972070_web1_gtr-liv-mpfestival007-112819
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
The silver and blue room will be on display during the Festival of Lights at the Braddock Trail Chapter House of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Mt. Pleasant.
1972070_web1_gtr-liv-mpfestival006-112819
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
The bells room in the Braddock Trail Chapter House of the Daughters of the American Revolution is decorated for the holiday.
1972070_web1_gtr-liv-mpfestival002-112819
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
The angel room in the Braddock Trail Chapter House of the Daughters of the American Revolution is decorated for the holiday.
1972070_web1_gtr-liv-mpfestival005-112819
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
The angel room in the Braddock Trail Chapter House of the Daughters of the American Revolution is decorated for the holiday.
1972070_web1_gtr-liv-mpfestival010-112819
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Regent Debra Newill sits surrounded by Christmas trees as the Daughters of the American Revolution Braddock Trail Chapter prepare for the Festival of Lights.
1972070_web1_gtr-liv-mpfestival009-112819
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
A Big Bird tree is being raffled off during the Festival of Lights at the Braddock Trail Chapter House of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Mt. Pleasant.
1972070_web1_gtr-liv-mpfestival008-112819
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Trees sit in the silver and blue room of the Braddock Trail Chapter House of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Mt. Pleasant.
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.