Ephrata Shines Bright: Celebrating 100 Years of Christmas Tree Lighting

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Ephrata Shines Bright: Celebrating 100 Years of Christmas Tree Lighting

Posted on October 4, 2023 by Christine Myers

Sometimes, the world seems to change by the minute. Just like the comfort that a good home-cooked meal can provide, traditions hold a special place in our hearts while they remind us of the values and joys of our community. In Ephrata, a cherished tradition has stood the test of time, and this year, it's shining brighter than ever as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Christmas tree lighting. The whole holiday season is marked by a series of enchanting events that promise to bring warmth and joy to our hearts. With a century of memories behind it, this year's festivities promise to be truly tree-mendous. 

Mainspring serves as the emcee for the public events taking place throughout Ephrata, and it all starts with the decorations. Main Street looks beautiful during the holiday season with holiday wreaths and trees lighting up our downtown. To make the town sparkle with holiday cheer, we invite everyone to be part of the celebration in a few ways. This collective effort ensures that every corner of Ephrata radiates the spirit of the season and helps us raise funds to be able to continue these celebrations.
First up, Let it Glow! by adopting a tree or wreath. The town is beautiful throughout the holidays, help celebrate the season by putting your name on one of our beautifully lit trees or wreaths.

Second, switch up the holiday cards this year and buy a banner with your business or family picture on it. We guarantee more people will see your matching Christmas outfits on the lamp posts throughout town than through the US postal service.

Third, do you have a tree that you’d like to donate for the big event? Just like the one at Rockefeller Center, we love to use trees that people are done enjoying and let them have center stage for the holiday season. If you have one that might fit the bill for us, send a note to contact@mainspringofephrata.org.

A Tree-Mendous Holiday Season Beckons. Here’s  a look at the line up of this year’s events:

100th Tree Lighting and Santa’s Arrival: Friday, November 24, 2023, 4:30-8:00 p.m.The festivities kick off on Black Friday, as the town gathers in eager anticipation for the tree lighting and Santa’s grand arrival. Located at the Ephrata National Bank at 31 E Main St., this event marks the official start of the holiday season in Ephrata. Families from far and wide gather to witness the magic unfold as Santa arrives and the tree is illuminated in all its splendor. But that’s not all; the enigmatic Belsnickel is also set to make an appearance, adding an extra layer of wonder to the evening. It’s a night you won’t want to miss.

Visit with Santa Claus Starting November 25, 2023, Every Friday and Saturday Until December 23, 2023
Santa Claus himself will be taking up residence in Ephrata’s downtown, offering young ones the opportunity to share their Christmas wishes. Located at 16 E Main St. in the Visitor’s Center/train station, Santa’s House will be open every Friday and Saturday until December 23, 2023. Fridays from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm, children of all ages can meet Santa and ensure their holiday dreams are heard.

Ephrata Holiday Market Saturday, November 25, 2023, 10:00 am-2:00 pm
The holiday spirit continues to shine on Ephrata with the Ephrata Holiday Market. Hosted by the Mainspring of Ephrata Christmas Committee, this event supports local crafters and businesses, giving them the opportunity to kickstart their holiday selling season. This year, the market coincides with Small Business Saturday, encouraging shoppers to explore downtown Ephrata while indulging in festive cheer. Head over to the Whistle Stop Plaza at 16 E Main St., Ephrata, PA 17522, and get your holiday shopping started on the right foot.

Jingle Bell Tour: A Decade of Holiday Magic Friday & Saturday, December 8 & 9
For a decade now, the Jingle Bell Tour has been captivating Ephrata with its enchanting charm. Cordially inviting the community, Mainspring of Ephrata has organized a special event that showcases beautifully decorated homes and businesses, all aglow with holiday spirit. The tour begins on Friday, December 9th, with family night and continues on December 10th for adults, offering a guided tour of Ephrata’s finest holiday displays (outside only). It’s a testament to Ephrata’s commitment to spreading the holiday magic. This event does require tickets, and will sell out. Follow us on Social media for Ticket on-sale dates.

Ephrata Unexpected New Year’s Eve Celebration Sunday, December 31, 2023, 9:30 pm – 12:00 am
The celebrations don’t stop with Christmas. As the year draws to a close, Ephrata is gearing up for its 2nd Annual New Year’s Eve Celebration – “Ephrata Unexpected.” Taking place in the heart of downtown Ephrata’s square, this event is a dazzling way to welcome 2024. With live music that will get you dancing in the streets, fireworks lighting up the night sky, delectable food trucks, and a selection of adult beverages, it’s the perfect way to say goodbye to the old year and usher in the new.

This event was so much fun last year, but we won’t be able to continue to do it without you. We are in need of volunteers to help us run this event. We have plenty of shifts available early during setup, during the event and late for clean up. It’s a great way to get out and meet new people and give back all at the same time. Don’t have time to give for the event? As a non-profit organization, we are constantly fundraising to ensure we have enough funds to put on great events like these. Mainspring is partially funded by the Ephrata Borough, but three-quarters of our budget is raised through donations. Please consider supporting Mainspring of Ephrata via our website.

As Ephrata celebrates a century of Christmas tree lighting, it’s evident that the spirit of community and togetherness has remained as strong as ever. The traditions may have evolved, but the essence of the season continues to shine brightly. So, mark your calendars, gather your loved ones, and join us in Ephrata this holiday season as we Let It Glow and celebrate a century of cherished memories and new beginnings.

Join us in making this 100th anniversary celebration an unforgettable experience, and together, let’s make Ephrata shine even brighter this holiday season.