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Tree lights up holiday season in Hagerstown's Public Square

November 20, 2007|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - Joseph Wolfe said he didn't want to be overlooked this year by Santa, so the 7-year-old took matters into his own hands.

As children gathered around Santa during the annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony Monday on Public Square in Hagerstown, Joseph, wearing a hat that said, "Tiny Elf," muscled through the crowd to let his holiday wish list be known.

"I asked for a FurReal Pony," Joseph said. "I tell (Santa) every single year. But what do I get ... Something different."

The smell of hot chocolate filled the air as high school bands played Christmas music. Roughly 300 people who attended the event bundled up to stay warm in temperatures that hovered around 40 degrees.

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"It's a fantastic way to kick off this holiday season," Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II said. "It's great for the kids and to have people come downtown."

Nicolette Totschek, 12, of New Mexico, said she was in town to attend the funeral of her great-grandfather.

Despite the three-day drive and solemn circumstances of her visit, she said Hagerstown's tree-lighting ceremony offered a nice change of pace.

"It's freezing, but I think it's cool," she said. "We get to see Santa and all that stuff, and the tree."

When the tree-lighting ceremony finished outside, revelers walked a half block down South Potomac Street to attend Hollyfest at The Maryland Theatre.

Hollyfest is a separate annual holiday event that features live Christmas music and other acts. This year's event featured the Smithsburg High School Orchestra and The Dean of Magic.

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