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Parade brings Christmas into Boonsboro

December 10, 2005|By DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

daniels@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO -

Red and white lights penetrated the night sky Friday night outside Shafer Park in Boonsboro, drawing the attention of residents gathered in, and shivering against, the cold.

For a while, the lights did not come any closer, hovering at the intersection of Potomac Street and Park Road. Then, someone called out that the lights were moving closer, the crowd turned to look again and, in fact, the lights were moving closer.

Someone else heard the faint sound of a marching band and called out. Others focused their attention on the lights, and as the Boonsboro Volunteer Fire Co. firetruck approached, the sounds of the Rohrersville Band playing behind the truck grew louder.

Finally, after a slow buildup, the Christmas season marched into Boonsboro, along with Santa Claus, a reindeer and a snowman.

"Fun and fellowship," Boonsboro Assistant Mayor Howard Long said following the parade and tree lighting as children waited to sit on Santa's lap and adults hovered around hot chocolate. "We just do it for the community every year. ... The kids get to see Santa Claus and have a good time."

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Joe Scalese, chairman of the town's park board, said while holiday celebrations abound in the days between Thanksgiving and New Year's, there is something special about a small-town celebration.

"Basically, to bring the old-time, family-type gatherings that many of the larger towns don't have anymore," Scalese said.

While the hot chocolate did little to ward off the cold-induced shivers, many of the grown-ups said they felt enduring the cold was more than worth it.

"We come every year, just to get into the Christmas spirit," said Gerri Zaccaria, turning to her daughter Sarah, 6, for further explanation.

"Because we wanted to come, because it's fun," Sarah said. "It was good to see Santa."

After the steady stream of lap-sitters had passed, Santa said none of the children who stopped by to visit claimed they had been naughty this year. While he said one or two might have been, all seemed nice while ticking off the items on their wish lists.

Santa said he had never heard of some of the gifts they asked for, possibly because many of the children spoke with quiet voices, but he said as a fail-safe, he asked them all to make up written lists of the gifts they want for Christmas.

"They're really hard to hear. Kids are really hard to hear," Santa said.

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