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About 3,000 make time for Old Tyme Christmas

December 09, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

FUNKSTOWN - Funkstown's main thoroughfare was alive with Christmas on Friday.

Up and down Baltimore Street, flickering lights - luminarias set by the sidewalk - cast a festive glow.

Bundled tight, hundreds of people walked from place to place or rode a wagon pulled by a tractor.

This was Funkstown's 14th Old Tyme Christmas, said Rich Gaver, the event's chairman for the sixth year.

Gaver and his wife, Rose Gaver, co-chair of the event, stepped inside Funkstown Town Hall to shake away the 25-degree cold for a little while.

Town Hall was the hub of all activity. Twenty-four raffle prize baskets sat on a table. Nearby, members of Girl Scout Troop 225 served cookies, doughnuts and punch, all of it donated.

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A table by the door had pots of coffee, hot cider and hot water for cocoa.

Rich Gaver said "a small army" of volunteers - about 15 - helped put the event together.

Others chipped in by entertaining.

A band from E. Russell Hicks Middle School treated people outside to music.

Talia Tompkins, 7, of Martinsburg, W.Va., played the piano.

Talia said afterward that she doesn't mind performing before a crowd. Her mother, Kim Tompkins, said Talia doesn't get flustered, even after a misstep, and moves right ahead, like an adult would.

A group of Funkstown Elementary School first-graders sang at St. Paul's Lutheran Church. Church member Linda Spalding, who greeted people as they came in, said a rotation of organists was scheduled to play for an hour each.

A parade started at the American Legion hall. The fire hall hosted a craft show and a dinner.

"We try to make it a family thing," volunteer Ed Owens said as he helped the Girl Scouts at the goodie table.

Rich Gaver said he expected about 3,000 people to join in this year's Old Tyme Christmas festivities - about three times the population of the town.

"This is the town's Christmas event," he said. "It involves the whole town, throughout."

Boonsboro held its own version of Old Tyme Christmas on Friday.

Children and their parents who stopped at Shafer Memorial Park saw people portraying Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, as well as a snowman and a reindeer with a red nose. The event was scheduled to include a parade and live music, too.

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