Santa comes to Hagerstown

November 26, 1996


Staff Writer

Camarya Peggues, 8, ran up to Santa Claus in Public Square on Monday night and gave him a big hug.

Then the Hagerstown girl told Santa that she would like one day to have a computer.

"I have problems in math in school and I want to practice math on a computer," Camarya explained later.

Camarya was one of dozens of boys and girls to greet Santa as he made his first official appearance in Hagerstown this holiday season.

Santa, a red-nosed reindeer named Rudolph, and a red-haired mayor named Steven T. Sager arrived downtown on a fire truck to help kick off the holiday season with the annual tree lighting.


After Camarya gave Santa her Christmas wish, she made sure her 5-month-old brother Rashad got to meet the jolly old elf.

Friend Cori Ptomey, 8, said he wished for a good Christmas and some LEGOs. His little brother A.D., 5, said he would like a fire truck like the one Santa rode to town on Monday.

"We gave him directions from the North Pole to here," said Doug Stull, the city's public works manager. Santa will head for Long Meadow Shopping Center on Friday.

But he had his hands full on Monday, waving and greeting all the boys and girls.

"I want to see Santa Claus," said Derek Holmes, 9, as he worked his way through the crowd Monday in search of St. Nick.

A family friend had been taking Derek and his sister Randi, 7, to Rocky's New York Pizza across the street for dinner when they saw Santa pull up in the fire truck.

The youngsters said they wanted to tell Santa what they would like for Christmas this year. Derek said he wanted a bike and a snake, while his sister wanted a trampoline.

Both said they had been good since they saw Santa last year at Valley Mall.

Curtis Weaver, of Clear Spring, confirmed that his daughter Brittany, 4, had been a good girl this year. She's been a big helper since her little brother Brett joined the family about four months ago, Weaver said.

While Brittany had met Santa before, she met Rudolph for the first time on Monday. "I told Rudolph I love him," she said.

About 40 girls ages 5 to 14 from Girls Inc. sang Christmas carols to the roughly 100 people in attendance for the tree lighting on the northeast quadrant of Public Square.

Afterward many people headed over to the Maryland Theatre for HollyFest activities, with scheduled performances by the North High Jazz Band, Reflections Show Choir from Clear Spring, Smithsburg Jazz Band, St. James Brass Quintet, City Ballet School, Highland View Academy Bell Ringers, magician Dean Burkett, Escapade Theatre and Jessica Schlotterbeck.

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