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Olde Tyme Christmas set for Dec. 8

November 14, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

FUNKSTOWN - Six years ago, when the Olde Tyme Christmas celebration was in danger of being dropped, town businesswoman Kelly Vance stepped up and said that couldn't happen.

"Kelly asked me to help and together we co-chaired the event for two years," said Rich Gaver, who is planning this year's event, which is scheduled for Dec. 8.

For the past four years, Gaver and his wife, Rose, have co-chaired the event. This year they are sharing tasks with Irene and Ed Owens, Letta Dunn, Jean and Jeff Cooper, Susan and Nathen Graybill, Natasha Arnall, Timmy Edmands, Aaron Stephens, and Jerry and Amy Walker.

"There are about 1,000 people living in Funkstown and last year, there were 2,000 people here for Olde Tyme Christmas," Gaver said.

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Now in its 14th year, the events begin at 6 p.m. with Funkstown first-graders singing at St. Paul's Lutheran Church on Baltimore Street.

Bill Weaver, Celtic musician, will perform and a piano recital will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall as the E. Russell Hicks band plays music around town.

Santa Claus will arrive at Town Hall at 7 p.m., and will ride on a firetruck in the parade, which begins at the monument and ends at the fire hall.

A hot roast beef dinner will be available at the fire hall, Gaver said, and a craft show also will be held there.

"Tables are still available for people wanting to set up crafts," he said. Anyone interested may call Gaver at 301-739-4212.

St. Paul's will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. with guest organists. The Funkstown Post Office will remain open until 8 p.m., with all services available.

Gaver said Town Hall will be the hub of many of the Olde Tyme Christmas activities including sales of a cookbook containing Alice Snodderly's red velvet cake recipe, wagon rides beginning and ending there, homemade cookies and other treats. The winners of the ornament decorating contest will be announced at 8 p.m.

This year, Gaver said, there will be a new glass ornament with a hand-drawn picture of Edmar Manor, 1790, an historic town building. The ornaments cost $7.50, including a display box. They are available at Town Hall.

"The town gives us $500," Gaver said. With that, the committee must rent wagons, pay for entertainment and refreshments, decorations and buy the components to make 4,000 luminarias.

Gaver said the committee members have been diligent in finding additional sponsors to help pay expenses.

"We got 60 sponsors this year, some giving money, goods or services," Gaver said.

The committee will get together this week to put together the luminarias - 3,000 of which will be distributed to townspeople while 1,000 will be set up in the Funkstown Cemetery by members of the Rodgers family.

"Olde Tyme Christmas is a gathering in town rather than in a park like some communities do," Gaver said.

Most of the town's many shops will be open throughout the evening to accommodate visitors.

Born and raised in or around Funkstown, Gaver has been an electrical inspector in Washington County for 10 years and a part-time associate at Lowe's for 14 years.

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