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Hagerstown ready for holiday spirit

November 21, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

The holiday season kicks off in Hagerstown on Monday with the lighting of the city's Christmas tree and Holly Fest at the Maryland Theatre.

Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II is expected to light the spruce tree in the southeast quadrant of Public Square at 6 p.m. for the first time since he became mayor in June, officials said.

The annual Holly Fest will start at the Maryland Theatre at 7 p.m., said Downtown Coordinator Karen Giffin.

Besides Santa's first official appearance in the Hub City and a visit by Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, scheduled entertainment includes:

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- City Ballet School.

- Clear Spring High School's Reflection Show Choir.

- Williamsport Commanders Jazz Ensemble.

- Highland View Academy Bell Ringers.

- South High Sax Ensemble.

- Magician Dean Burkett.

- A reading of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" and "The Night Before Cajun Christmas."

- Smithsburg Jazz Band.

- St. James Brass Quintet.

- Organist Jack Staley.

- Santa's Helpers Breanna Donovan, Allison Donovan, Danielle Donovan and Chelsea Clark.

Downtown merchants Pam Reed and Harry Grandinett will be the masters of ceremony.

Bruchey also will light the Remembrance Tree at Rose Hill Cemetery at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5, Giffin said. The annual lighting and procession to City Park are part of a ceremony to remember lost loved ones during the holiday season.

For more information about the ceremony at Rose Hill Cemetery, call 301-739-3630.

The South High Choir will lead the remembrance walk to City Park, where the holiday silhouettes will be lit at 7 p.m., Giffin said.

The traditional silhouettes of snowflakes, trees, deer, swans and an angel will be joined this year by new silhouettes at the Mansion House and Hager House, including ones related to the Civil War at the Hager House, she said.

Following the lighting, receptions will be held at the Mansion House and Hager House with free food and drinks, she said. A trolley will be available to return walkers to the cemetery.

Tours of downtown churches will be available this year Dec. 11-12 from 5 to 7 p.m. The tours begin and end at The Miller House at 135 W. Washington St.

Three different churches will be featured each night, Giffin said. Tickets are $3 for one night and $5 for both nights, she said.

The Miller House also will feature "Christmas Around the World" Dec. 10-23 and Dec. 26-27. Hours will be 1-4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 2-5 p.m. on weekends.

Local garden clubs will have decorated each room according to the customs of different countries, including the British Isles, Denmark, Germany, Spain and Mexico.

Tickets are $3 for adults, $2 for senior citizens and free for school children. For more information, call 301-797-8782.

"The Nutcracker," featuring the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and Potomac Classical Youth Ballet Co., will be at the Maryland Theatre Dec. 6-7, Giffin said.

The ballet will feature a Russian soloist and about 100 local children, Giffin said.

The show will go on at 3 p.m. on both days and at 7 p.m. on Dec. 6, she said. Tickets are $22 for adults and $15 for children and senior citizens.

For more information about "The Nutcracker," call the theater at 301-790-2000.

The City Farmers' Market will have some special hours and an open house this holiday season.

The market will be open on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon. Baked goods, meat and some crafts will be on sale.

A craft bazaar will be held on Sunday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A holiday open house at the market will be held on Saturday, Dec. 13, from 5 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

For more information, call Giffin at 301-739-8577, extension 116.

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