Etna celebrates extended Light Up Night
ETNA: When Santa Claus arrives in Etna Friday evening, he will find the borough scurrying to prepare for an expanded Light Up Night celebration.
“We block off Walnut Street for Santa,” said Denise Dzvonick of Etna’s holiday committee. The Pine Creek Band plays carols there, the Scouts help kids with crafts, and that’s where Santa greets the children.”
A whole street dedicated to Santa is only one attraction at this year’s Light Up Night, however.
“We have floats in the parade. Those are new,” Dzvonick said. We have the Sensations Marching Unit with flags and batons. We have everyone participating from the firemen’s band, to the dek hockey team, to the 60th Royal American Regiment complete with muskets, she said.
Susan Haas Colonello, co-owner of Always in Bloom, said she and partner Kevin Burke wanted to do more this Light Up Night as well.
“We have refreshments in the shop. Everyone is invited for conversation and fun,” Colonello said. “It’s our way of saying thank you to our customers.”
“This is our third Light Up Night, and this is our grandest,” she said. “We have a float in the parade. But I can’t tell you about it because it’s a surprise.”
“We’re having a bonfire in the parking lot next to the shop,” she said. “People can cook a hot dog if they want to. We’re hoping the carolers will come down.”
Merchants along Butler Street show enthusiasm for Light Up Night as well. Each contributes to the celebration in their own way.
Elda Sullivan of Sullivan Chevrolet said she can’t remember the number of Light Up Nights she has been a part of.
“We always put the ‘Welcome to Etna’ sign on our lot,” she said. “People driving from Rt. 8 always see the Season’s Greetings sign as soon as they turn into Etna. We lend cars to the parade. We always decorate our showroom.”
Sullivan said she contributes to Light Up Night because it is meaningful for the community.
“Everything is lit up. It’s a good thing. It brings the community together,” Sullivan said.