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Town plans an old-fashioned Christmas

December 07, 2005|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - Last year, Emma Andrukat made a snowflake during the first Old Fashioned Smithsburg Christmas celebration. Now 8 years old, she is eagerly waiting to see what this year's event will hold for her and others this Saturday.

Emma's parents, Brian and Chris Andrukat are at the forefront of the organization of this year's celebration, which gets under way at 7 a.m. with a pancake breakfast - with Santa Claus - at the Smithsburg Volunteer Fire Co. on Main Street.

The main events start at 3 p.m. in the center of town.

"In the past, the Smithsburg Improvement Committee had been trying to develop ideas for this community," Brian Andrukat said. His wife, Chris, was involved with the Citizens Police Advisory Committee, which traditionally sponsored a Christmas party, as did the local fire company.

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"We all decided to work together," Brian Andrukat said of the coordination that began last Christmas.

This year, Main Street from the Smithsburg Market to Trinity Lutheran Church will be closed to traffic for the afternoon events. The only snag is that Water Street, which is Md. 66, will have to remain open for traffic, but it will be carefully monitored for safety.

Eight artificial Christmas trees will be erected in the town square and will be decorated by children, beginning at 3 p.m. Businesses throughout the downtown will have snacks, contests and games for children and others who come to the festivities.

The Smithsburg Historical Society will have games, gifts and a coloring contest for children.

"The Trinity Lutheran Church youth choir will be caroling and there will be a Living Nativity in front of the church and a puppet show too," Chris Andrukat said.

Representatives of the fire and ambulance companies in Smithsburg will have food available at their locations. They also will be on the street with emergency equipment throughout the afternoon.

"Last year there were rides on the fire trucks," Brian Andrukat said.

The couple's other daughter, Alexis, 10, remembers well how much she enjoyed riding on a fire truck last year and is hoping to repeat the pleasure this weekend.

Older son, Calvin, 15, also helps out, Chris Andrukat said.

The activities from 3 to 5 p.m. are under the supervision of the Smithsburg Improvement Committee while the Citizens Police Advisory Committee will begin its part at 5:30 p.m. with a Christmas party at the Smithsburg Fire Hall.

There will be pictures with Santa, Christmas crafts, door prizes and gift bags as well as refreshments.

"Santa will be around all day," Chris Andrukat said.

A lot of work has gone into the preparation for this year's Old Fashioned Smithsburg Christmas but the Andrukats said it has been a labor of love.

"We are from upstate New York and have lived in Smithsburg now for 13 years," Brian Andrukat said. "We got involved in our new town because we see it as part of our responsibility."

The couple said their efforts are a good way to show their children that you can make a difference when you "walk the talk."

Both are also busy with youth athletics in Smithsburg. Chris Andrukat teaches in Frederick County, Md., while Brian Andrukat is a department manager at World Kitchens in Greencastle, Pa.

As to the activities of both their committees, Chris Andrukat said it's all worth the effort. "There are a lot of loyal people in this town," she said.

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