Santa takes time for a summer visit

July 31, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - They brought fans instead of blankets. They drank lemonade, not hot chocolate.

And there are still 147 shopping days until Christmas.

But that didn't stop Santa Claus and his helper from showing up at the City Park band shell Sunday night and passing out candy to the nearly 300 people there.

Lynn Rushing, of Hagerstown, dressed in a Santa suit and his daughter, Laura Gross, dressed in an elf costume for the Hagerstown Municipal Band's Christmas in July performance.

Most in attendance said the Christmas tunes didn't make them forget the heat. Temperatures Sunday evening were in the 80s, according to Accuweather.


"Maybe it makes you feel cool, even though it isn't," said Carol Long, 56, of Boonsboro.

She and her husband, Howard Long, 57, said they like Christmas carols and enjoy attending the Sunday concerts at City Park. Their son, Mike Long, of Shippensburg, Pa., plays percussion in the band, they said.

Joe Saunders, 70, of Hagers-town, said he tries to make it to City Park every Sunday during the summer concert series. There are three concerts left this season.

"It's nice," he said. "I like all Christmas music."

Saunders was at the park with his cousins Debbie Hummel, 52, of Hagerstown, and her husband, Steve Hummel, 52. Both said they enjoyed hearing "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" in July.

"It's different, but we knew they were going to do it," Steve Hummel said.

The couple said they try to make it to as many of the summer concerts as they can.

"It's always a very nice end to the week," Steve Hummel said.

William Valora of Chambersburg, Pa., sat listening to the concert with his 13-year-old son, Benjamin.

Valora said his son enjoys classical music.

"I enjoy it too," he said. "He enjoys it, though. It's very relaxing for him. It's soothing."

Valora said he enjoys all Christmas music and was looking forward to hearing the selection.

Alfred Hudson, 64, of Chambersburg, and his wife, Gerti Hudson, sat in lawn chairs near the band shell.

"We love it," she said. "We just love it. Hopefully the (Christmas music) will help us think cool thoughts."

While the audience was trying to think cool thoughts, Santa was thinking about the five months until Christmas.

"Make sure you're on the good side of the list," he said. "And I'll see you in December."

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