Ephrata Shines Bright 

A Tree-Mendous Holiday Season Beckons Celebrating 100 Years of Christmas Tree Lighting 

Sometimes, the world seems to change by the minute. Just like the comfort that a good home-cooked meal can provide, traditions hold a special place in our hearts while they remind us of the values and joys of our community. In Ephrata, a cherished tradition has stood the test of time, and this year, it’s shining brighter than ever as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Christmas tree lighting. The whole holiday season is marked by a series of enchanting events that promise to bring warmth and joy to our hearts. With a century of memories behind it, this year’s festivities promise to be truly tree- mendous. 

100th Anniversary Tree Lighting
and Santa’s Arrival Friday, Nov. 24, 2023, 4:30-8:00 p.m. 

The festivities kick off on Black Friday, as the town gathers in eager anticipation for the tree lighting and Santa’s grand arrival. Located at the Ephrata National Bank at 31 E Main St., this event marks the official start of the holiday season in Ephrata. Families from far and wide gather to witness the magic unfold as Santa arrives and the tree is illuminated in all its splendor. But that’s not all; the enigmatic Belsnickel is also set to make an appearance, adding an extra layer of wonder to the evening. It’s a night you won’t want to miss.

Visit with Santa Claus Starting
Nov. 25, 2023, Every Friday and Saturday Until Dec 23, 2023

Santa Claus himself will be taking up residence in Ephrata’s downtown, offering young ones the opportunity to share their Christmas wishes. Located at 16 E Main St. in the Visitor’s Center/train station, Santa’s House will be open every Friday and Saturday until December 23, 2023. Fridays from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm, children of all ages can meet Santa and ensure their holiday dreams are heard.

Ephrata Holiday Market Saturday,
Nov 25, 2023, 10:00 am-2:00 pm

The holiday spirit continues to shine on Ephrata with the Ephrata Holiday Market. Hosted by the Mainspring of Ephrata Christmas Committee, this event supports local crafters and businesses, giving them the opportunity to kickstart their holiday selling season. This year, the market coincides with Small Business Saturday, encouraging shoppers to explore downtown Ephrata while indulging in festive cheer. Head over to the Whistle Stop Plaza at 16 E Main St., Ephrata, PA 17522, and get your holiday shopping started on the right foot.

Jingle Bell Tour: A Decade of Holiday Magic
Friday & Saturday, Dec 8 & 9

For a decade now, the Jingle Bell Tour has been captivating Ephrata with its enchanting charm. Cordially inviting the community, Mainspring of Ephrata has organized a special event that showcases beautifully decorated homes and businesses, all aglow with holiday spirit. The tour begins on Friday, December 9th, with family night and continues on December 10th for adults, offering a guided tour of Ephrata’s finest holiday displays (outside only). It’s a testament to Ephrata’s commitment to spreading the holiday magic. This event does require tickets and will sell out. Follow us on Social media for Ticket on-sale dates.

Ephrata Unexpected New Year’s Eve Celebration
Sunday, Dec 31, 2023, 9:30 pm – 12:00 am

The celebrations don’t stop with Christmas. As the year draws to a close, Ephrata is gearing up for its 2nd Annual New Year’s Eve Celebration – “Ephrata Unexpected.” Taking place in the heart of downtown Ephrata’s square, this event is a dazzling way to welcome 2024. With live music that will get you dancing in the streets, fireworks lighting up the night sky, delectable food trucks, and a selection of adult beverages, it’s the perfect way to say goodbye to the old year and usher in the new.

As Ephrata celebrates a century of Christmas tree lighting, it’s evident that the spirit of community and togetherness has remained as strong as ever. The traditions may have evolved, but the essence of the season continues to shine brightly. So, mark your calendars, gather your loved ones, and join us in Ephrata this holiday season as we Let It Glow and celebrate a century of cherished memories and new beginnings. Join us in making this 100th-anniversary celebration an unforgettable experience, and together, let’s make Ephrata shine even brighter this holiday season. 

— Christine Myers