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City floats christmas spirit at tree lighting

December 06, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- Hagerstown must be one of the few towns with a floating Christmas tree, Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II and local personality Lou Scally said Friday night during the annual City Park Lighting.

The city's tree floated atop a platform anchored in the middle of the large lake in City Park.

Holiday and winter-themed decorations lining the lake in City Park were also aglow Friday, including the latest addition: a train and coal car. Once again, a lighted Santa fishes on the lake near the floating Christmas tree.

Children perched on adults' shoulders to watch as each of the decorations were lighted in turn.

About 1,500 lumanarias set along the walking paths in the park glowed in the night.

"It's pretty," said 7-year-old Paul Dzieciol. Paul also wanted to take a hayride Friday night, he said.

The Antique Tractor Club was offering hayrides around the park.

Paul's aunt and uncle, Gay and Bryan Yeatts, took him to Friday evening's event.

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They live near Mercersburg, Pa., but came to Hagerstown for the City Park Lighting last year and enjoyed the event, Gay Yeatts said.

"I like that it's after Thanksgiving," she said.

Richard and Sharon Wright donated the tree, which had been planted in their front yard about 25 years ago, she told the crowd.

They were now putting in a driveway, and the tree was so beautiful it was nice to be able to use it for something, she said.

Performers from the Hagerstown Children's Theater, dressed as candy canes, reindeer and Santa, performed holiday songs for the crowd waiting for the lighting. A Santa wearing oversize sunglasses rocked to a song featuring the lyrics "Welcome to my Christmas song, I'd like to thank you for the year."

Brock Myers took 4-year-old Brady Myers to the lighting for the first time Friday.

"He's really into the Christmas spirit this year," Brock Myers said.

Brady wanted to "see the lights," he said.

Following the lighting, music and refreshments were offered at the Hager House and Museum of Fine Arts.

In a departure from the generally historic nature of the Hager House, the Children's Theater performers performed on the front porch, launching first into "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."

City community affairs director Karen Giffin said she was pleased with the event.

"Everyone is in the holiday spirit," she said.

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