GREENVILLE — The holiday season is here! Downtown Greenville is brightening the season thanks to the hard work of the Greenville City Street Department, donors for the community Christmas tree and volunteers who assisted in putting up the tree.
With downtown aglow in time for the annual Hometown Holiday Horse Parade, there remained one part of the community that had not been lit. Following the parade, a special ceremony was held at Annie Oakley Park to light the tree.
According to Greenville Mayor Steve Willman, the tradition of remembering a member of the community that has passed away started three years ago when the tree lighting was reinstated after several decades without a tree. He said, “Three years ago, we revitalized our tradition of bringing a tree to downtown and it was dedicated to Barbara Fee and last year it was to Diane Brown.” Willman announced this year’s tree is dedicated to the memory of Duane “Lum” Edwards.
Edwards was the announcer for the Darke County Tractor Pullers, National Tractor Pullers Association and Hoosier State Tractor Pullers Association and his distinct voice could be heard wherever they had an event. Every Tuesday afternoon during the fair, if you were anywhere near the Grandstand, you would hear his voice ringing out.
During the Christmas season, Edwards would become one of Santa’s helpers and visit with children and take their lists back to his boss.
He also contributed to the community as a member of the board of directors for the Cancer Association of Darke County and Greenville Farm Power of the Past, volunteer with the Darke County Solid Waste District, election polls and was a founding member of Keep Darke County Beautiful. He also was a member of the Loyal Order of the Moose and worked with Greenville FFA, Stateline Heritage Days, and the high school alumni association.
Willman believes the tree and the downtown decorations are important for bringing the community together to celebrate the Christmas season.
Darke County Commissioner Marshall Combs added, “I think it’s a show of support from individuals and small businesses coming together. It’s a nice focal point to show the dedication that everybody has to making Greenville and Darke County a happy place to be. Not a lot of places like that are left in the world.”
This year’s tree was installed by the City of Greenville Street Department, Fitzwater Outdoor Maintenance, JCrane and AES. Additional sponsors include Turtle Creek Golf Course, GNB Banking Centers, Tribute Funeral Homes, Wayne HealthCare, Reigning Cats & Dogs Pet Grooming, West Branch Excavating, Treaty City Repair, Wintrow Signs, Darke Rural Electric Cooperative, Howard Hanna, Sure Shot Tap House, Roof Maxx, Remedy Plumbing, DJ Bonkster, State Farm Marshall Combs, Huntington Billboards, McCabe Painting Service, Dave Knapp Ford, and JK Custom Builder.
To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].