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Snow-ho-ho!

Santa arrives at Valley Mall amid flurries

Santa arrives at Valley Mall amid flurries

November 07, 2009|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI

HALFWAY -- Snow was falling Saturday morning at Valley Mall.

The white stuff enhanced the wonder as Santa Claus made a grand 9:45 a.m. train arrival at Valley Mall Junction.

The classic tune "Let It Snow" tolled from the loud speakers. Santa waved to and gave high-fives to some of the hundreds of children who had lined up to see him.

Jamie Barnhart, 27, of Hagerstown, said she arrived with her two children at 7:30 a.m. in anticipation of the event.

"We heard there would be a lot of people, so we wanted to get here early," Barnhart said. "We ended up being third in line."

Tyler Barnhart, 8, said Santa asked what he wanted for Christmas.

"I told him Pokemon cards," Tyler said. "He said, 'OK.'"

Tyler's 17-month-old sister, Aaliyah, was less excited to see Santa Claus.

"She cried," Jamie Barnhart said.

Treyvor Trovinger, 5, of Hagerstown, stood catching snowflakes as they fell while he waited to see Santa. He said he planned to request a gray Hot Wheels car.

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Toy requests this year range from classics to modern technologies, all of which the elves are handling back at the workshops, Santa said.

"The girls are asking for doll babies, and Barbies are still a hot item. The boys like skateboards and bicycles," Santa said. "Just about everybody is asking for iPods."

Natalie Nova, 6, of Hagerstown, asked Santa for a Barbie and a unicorn toy. Her brother, Dante, 7, had a slightly more ambitious wish list. He asked for Legos, video games, and Bakugun Battle Brawlers.

"My mommy and poppy give me a little bit of toys, and Santa gives me a load," Dante said.

Michele Wills, marketing director of Valley Mall, said a snow-making machine was a new addition to the Valley Mall Junction display this year.

"The snow is thrilling people," she said.

After children met with Santa to put in their gift requests and have their pictures taken, they made crafts, including popcorn and cranberry garlands.

Wills said she anticipated about 1,000 people would participate in Santa's festivities throughout the day.

The mall has a host of holiday events scheduled through November and December. Among them are an Angel Tree for gift donations, pet photos with Santa, breakfast and lunch with Santa, and music and entertainment.

Meanwhile, Santa had a familiar message he said he wanted to get out to boys and girls.

"Be good," he said.

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