Even angels can get a little worse for wear.
But in their new and improved version, they are more than ready to guide holiday celebrants down Patterson Street to Christmas in the Park, a tree-lighting ceremony which will be held in Lansford's Kennedy Park Saturday night, Nov. 24, beginning at 6 p.m.
Simultaneously, organizers will light six towering evergreens - one known as the Girl Scout tree, the pairs which flank the Miner's and Veteran's monuments, and one donated long ago by resident Irene Gangaware, now deceased, who lived across from the park.
In addition, Santa Claus will arrive via fire truck, and Boyer's IGA is contributing refreshments. The Panther Valley School band and chorus will perform holiday songs, and volunteers for the Salvation Army will be ringing their bells asking for monetary contributions for victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Chris Ondrus, a part-time Lansford patrol officer and the president of Lansford Alive, explained that the borough's last tree lighting was about five years ago. The revival of the event is made possible by a $15,000 Department of Community and Economic Development grant, written by Dale Freudenberger and backed by Rep. Keith McCall.
Saturday morning, Ondrus joined volunteers Matt Dunn, Summit Hill, and Bob Dobosh and vice-president Bob Silver, Lansford. Ondrus explained that the original grant was mainly to change the lighting from incandescent to the more efficient and durable LED bulbs.
"But the angels, which were donated to the town by the Cipko brothers long ago, were falling apart," Ondrus said. "We asked to modify the grant, and were able to get new angels - 16 with LED lights on Patterson Street - and re-lamp the wreaths."
"The change meant that there would be fewer lights in the park, but we still have about 4,000 lights in the park," he added. "We also got new decorations for the gazebo."
Volunteers have pitched in countless hours to ready the park. Saturday morning, as they wrapped up decorations on the gazebo and began working on tree lights, Ondrus, Dunn, Dobosh and Silver said that they hope members of the local and surrounding communities bring their families out to show their support of the event's revival.
"It's going to be a great way to kick off the holiday season," Dobosh said.
Parking is available in the Panther Valley stadium lot. The rain date for the event is Nov. 25, 6 p.m.