Burgettstown lights up for the holidays

BURGETTSTOWN, Pa. – Despite a brisk cold, scores of residents showed up for the seventh-annual Burgettstown Light Up Night Sunday evening at the Burgettstown Community Park on Main Street.

Area businesses, service organizations, clubs and families from the greater Burgettstown area decorated 40 Christmas trees, which were ceremoniously lit for the holiday season at 6 p.m.

“Light Up Night came with a wintry blast this year,” said organizer Jim Reedy. “I’ve seen years colder than this year, but we’ve got a little snow this year, and it’s really opened the trees up. This was the first year that yours truly had to go and get the trees. (Late Burgettstown Hardware owner) John Weidert is sadly missed. He was a big part of Light Up Night.”

Those decorating the trees competed for two prizes, the judges’ choice and the people’s choice. A special guest judge panel judged the trees based on creativity, theme, decoration, originality, lights and overall presentation on a 100-point scale.

“I’ve heard a lot of compliments about the trees already,” said Reedy. “This morning, almost all of them were already decorated, and that’s a great thing.”

Receiving first place was Burgettstown American Legion 3698, second place was Reedy Lawn Service and third place was Burgettstown Head Start.

Those attending voted for their favorite decorated tree, and the tree that received the greatest number of ballots was crowned the people’s choice winner. This year, the honor went to Burgettstown Area Youth Soccer Association.

The event included entertainment provided by Bill Chamberlain’s vocal students, the Burgettstown High School marching and concert bands and the high school winterguard.

Santa and Mrs. Claus attended the festivities, taking photos with those children in attendance. Mary Ann and Alex Demczak portrayed Mrs. Claus and Santa Claus. Burgettstown Kids Center volunteers served hot chocolate, hot dogs and cookies during the event.

“I want to thank everyone involved, from the Kids Center volunteers to anyone who helped in any way today,” said Reedy. “Anyone who worked in the kitchen or helped out at the park, and the (Borough) Street Department, who put up the trees, and my father (James Reedy Sr.), whose involvement in the community is a tremendous help.”

The event began more than seven years ago with 10 trees and has grown each year, adding trees and participants.

“We have many events throughout the year, and Light Up Night is the culmination of all these events,” said Reedy. “I look forward to it every year, and we always have a great turn out. Activities like this keeps us going from year to year. It’s a nice way to kick-off the holiday season and get out and see your friends and neighbors. Everyone who gets involved doing this every year helps make this community a brighter place.”

The trees will remain in the park, on display and lit nightly throughout the holiday season until shortly after New Year’s Day.

“I suggest that if you were unable to get down here today, that you come down any evening this holiday season and take a walk through the park and enjoy the trees,” said Reedy.

(Wallace-Minger can be contacted at swallace@pafocus.com)