'A new tradition': York Revolution organizing tree display, holiday market

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch

Following the success of a holiday event born last year as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the York Revolution is returning to its newest tradition bigger and better, event officials said.

A holiday tree decoration display and winter shopping market will return in Spruce’d Up! A Celebration of Trees. The event will be open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. every weekend from Black Friday through Dec. 19, according to York Revolution spokesperson Doug Eppler.

“If you look hard enough, you can find silver linings through the COVID-19 pandemic," Eppler said. “One of them for us is a new tradition.”

Ashley Buckingham of D.E. Gemmill tops the tree the business sponsored with a pylon for the "Spruce'd Up: A Celebration of Trees" event at PeoplesBank Park Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. The company provides traffic control and road sign installation. The event will provide non-profit organizations in the York area $6,500 in grants donated by York Traditions Bank, based on the votes of visitors. The display of about 36 trees is open to the public Thursdays through Sundays from Nov. 27 until Dec. 20. Bill Kalina photo

The event was created last year as a way to host a safe, socially-distanced outdoor event during the pandemic.

This year, additions including unique promotions and vendors are bringing something extra special to the mix, Eppler said.

Leading up to the days before the event's launch, event organizers are preparing 40 live Christmas trees that will be lined up on the main concourse. Each tree is sponsored by either an area business or nonprofit and will be decorated with a theme set by each organization.

Event attendees will also be able to vote for their favorite trees — with the top three receiving cash donations to the nonprofit of the decorator's choice, Eppler said.

The event will be free to attend.

“It's a holiday tree display, a unique fundraiser — and this year it’ll also be a holiday shopping opportunity," Eppler said.

From left, Melissa Gross, Allison Feder and Alyssa Allen of the Christian School of York wrap lights around the tree the school sponsored for the "Spruce'd Up: A Celebration of Trees" event at PeoplesBank Park Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. The event will provide non-profit organizations in the York area $6,500 in grants donated by York Traditions Bank, based on the votes of visitors. The display of about 36 trees is open to the public Thursdays through Sundays from Nov. 27 until Dec. 20. Bill Kalina photo

York Revolution has partnered with Downtown Inc's Elaine Bonneau to bring some York County artisans and vendors to the event space this year.

Lastly, Spruce'd Up will feature unique promotion days throughout the duration of the entire event.

The promotions include a visit from Santa Claus, a gingerbread house decorating competition, Christmas caroling and crafts in Santa's workshop, Eppler said.

A full list of all promotions can be found at https://www.sprucedupyork.com/.

“This will hopefully be something people mark on their calendars and select those nights they are excited for," he said. “We know some of our participants last year are on board again and very excited."

Business Information Group employees Maura McGowan, left, passes lights to Chamberly Mahoney while decorating the tree the business sponsored for the "Spruce'd Up: A Celebration of Trees" event at PeoplesBank Park Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. The event will provide non-profit organizations in the York area $6,500 in grants donated by York Traditions Bank, based on the votes of visitors. The display of about 36 trees is open to the public Thursdays through Sundays from Nov. 27 until Dec. 20. Bill Kalina photo

Following a successful season of baseball with no incidents, Eppler said COVID-19 precautions such as wearing masks will not be required. 

"We have been throughout the entire pandemic keeping an eye on the situation and following guidance from health officials," he said. "We are just excited though that as of this moment nothing can prevent us from doing this in a much more open and relaxed way this year."

As with many events hosted by the York Revolution, Eppler said, he is grateful for the relationship the baseball team has with presenting sponsor Traditions Bank in order to pull off free community events.

“We're just thrilled that we have them as a resource," he said, "and we can apply our strengths and our expertise in hosting events to their vision of creating free things for the community."

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at  @tina_locurto. Please consider subscribing to support local journalism.