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Parade promotes holiday spirit

December 13, 2008|By MARIE GILBERT

SMITHSBURG -- Lawn chairs were placed on the sidewalks with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

And sure enough, about midafternoon, he arrived - but not with the help of reindeer. Santa Claus traveled through Smithsburg in a firetruck.

A visit from the man in red was among the highlights Saturday afternoon of a holiday parade that made its way down Main Street.

The event was part of Smithsburg's Home Town Christmas, an annual all-day festival.

Spectators began arriving early to find the perfect spot to watch the parade, which included marching bands, emergency vehicles and youth groups.

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Several of Santa's helpers made their way along the route, distributing candy to children.

"It's a fun way to spend the day," said Melissa Kreun of Smithsburg.

Kreun attended the parade, along with other family members, to show support for her son, who plays trumpet in the Smithsburg Middle School Marching Band.

This is the first time she had attended the Christmas parade, "but I think it's a nice idea," she said. "It gets you in the holiday spirit."

Just down the street, a Winnie the Pooh petting zoo was attracting as much attention as the parade.

Children and their parents took turns feeding and brushing an array of animals, including miniature horses, goats, rabbits, chickens and a rooster.

The petting zoo was offered by Lori Hartley, owner of the Dixie Eatery in Smithsburg.

"This has been very popular with children today," Hartley said. "They've been so excited. It's really been fun for everybody."

The animals are owned by Hartley, who said this was her first year setting up the petting zoo.

The miniature horses, Little Joe and April, "were definitely the most popular," she said. "Along with the goats, they were the attention-getters."

Carrie Arnold of Hagerstown said her 4-year-old daughter, Anna, was enjoying everything the town had to offer on Saturday.

"We started off early with breakfast with Santa," Arnold said. "I think she will be a very tired little girl tonight."

In addition to the parade and petting zoo, other activities included caroling around the downtown area and a live nativity scene. The day ended with a children's party and magic show at the fire hall.

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