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Stonehedge launches 29th annual Christmas tree lighting

Published November 20. 2009 05:00PM

Stonehedge Original Gift Shop and Gallery, in conjunction with Stonehedge Gardens, is now accepting reservations for its annual Christmas tree lighting.

The lightings are held every weekend Thanksgiving through New Years, Nov. 27 to Jan. 3. Shows are held at 5:30 and 8 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, excluding Christmas Day.

Reservations may be made by calling (570) 386-4276.

Stonehedge is located just off the Route 309/ Leiby's intersection at 51 Dairy Road, Tamaqua.Seating is limited at the 20-minute tree-lighting ceremony, which is followed by a refreshment period with holiday punch, snacks and other complimentary drinks. Over refreshments, guests will also have an opportunity to talk with founder Russell Keich and other members of Stonehedge Gardens about the building, the gardens, and the organization's history and programs.

Guests are strongly encouraged to make reservations early as each program is limited to 25 and programs fill quickly.Before the ceremony, guests are called by order of reservation to the second floor, an area normally closed to the public, and pass through a unique living quarters before entering the Great Room. Here, comfortable seating is provided around an impressive 15-foot Christmas tree adorned with hundreds of porcelain, blown glass, antique and hand-made ornaments, as well as more than 300 feet of glittering Strauss crystal. Accompanying the décor are Stonehedge Originals: magnificent, illuminated poinsettias and hand-blown snowflakes made on site.

More than 16,000 lights work together to create 150 different light changes timed to seasonal music for an impressive show. Each of six lighting segments is accompanied by its own music and lighting hues and includes the Ave Maria by Schubert, a traditional rendition of both The First Noel and O Sanctissima. The fourth segment opens with Beethoven's The Worship of God, Alexander's Once in Royal David's City and Silent Night with voice by Gruber/Mohr closes the program.

New this year, special Group Lightings will be available weekday evenings (Monday to Thursday) during December for organizations and families that would like to host their holiday outing at Stonehedge. In addition to the tree-lighting ceremony and light snacks, the group program will include a winter garden walk (weather permitting), extended use of the second floor great room, ability to add modest catering services. Group programs are limited to a minimum 12 and maximum 20 people. Those interested in the group session should call (570) 386-4276 to discuss options.

Stonehedge Gardens is a non-profit 501(c)3 membership organization, operated almost completely through volunteer support and individual contributions. Its mission is to provide an environment for personal and community wellness through its six-acre public garden and arts programs. For more information, visit or call (570) 386-4276.

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