Berwick Continues 73-Year-Old Christmas Lights Tradition

BERWICK, Pa. -- During the day, it is a pretty smooth drive down Market Street in Berwick; but when the sun sets, the Christmas Boulevard lights up.

"It's tradition here in town. It's not Christmas without the Boulevard," said Ashley Allen, Nescopeck.

Allen took her two daughters down the mile-long stretch of Christmas displays of lights and music.

"It's tradition. My kids absolutely love it. The lights are amazing. They sing. They move. Santa is there. Santa walks right up to the car, isn't afraid to peek his head in the window, talk to my kids, ask them what they want for Christmas. He's amazing. The whole thing is wonderful." Allen said. "I went as a kid, so knowing I can do this with my kids makes a big difference. It's perfect," she added.

Christmas Boulevard is always changing, but this year, the addition of nearly 50 movable light displays has passers-by saying this is the best year yet. A lot of painting and restoration went into getting the displays to look the way they do.

"This is a year-long process, it doesn't stop. They start early. Usually, after we shut down the Boulevard, they get a month reprieve. They come right back at it getting ready for the next year," said Berwick Boulevard Association President Michael Monico Jr. "The work that goes into refurbishing, we have a talented bunch of groups. Some are broken, smashed, we had to replace motors. We redid the faces with plaster, we painted them. We actually sewed and made all their outfits."

Folks who live in the area say because of the new displays this year, you'll want to plan for extra time and traffic.

"Plan on some time, pack some snacks. Get some hot chocolate for the family. It's a little bit of a wait, but I'm telling you it's worth the while. "

Even folks who live right on Market Street, in the midst of it all, say they do not mind avoiding the route for a few weeks during December.

"You can't go through, that's all. Get used to it. I love it," said Richard Sepulveda, Berwick.

Christmas Boulevard in Berwick is put on entirely by volunteers, hoping to keep the 73-year-old tradition alive.

"Here's the thing. This town rallies around a cause and I don't ever foresee this great tradition, we're in the 73rd year, and when someone needs help in this town, people come around and help out with it," Monico said.

Christmas Boulevard lights up every night from 6 to 10 p.m. through December 31. It will be 24 hours on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

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