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Holiday Showcase kicks off in downtown Hagerstown

December 03, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

o City Center Holiday Showcase 2009

HAGERSTOWN -- The cheerful notes of Christmas songs and the smell of fresh popcorn wafted through the air Thursday afternoon in Hagerstown's Public Square.

Musical theater students from the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts performed for about an hour while parishioners from Otterbein United Methodist Church passed out bags of freshly-popped popcorn.

The celebration kicked off Hagerstown's City Center Holiday Showcase, with special events planned through Sunday.

City officials want to showcase the "little gems hiding down here," said Jennifer Kram, event and program specialist for the city.

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A small crowd gathered as students ran through a program that included "Santa Baby," "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and "Walking In a Winter Wonderland."

"They stopped me in my tracks," said Mary Conway, who came upon the performance as she went to work Thursday.

Conway went to get her manager, Dolores Harmon, so she could watch the show.

"We should have more things down in the square," Harmon said. "This is perfect."

Both a women's musical theater group and a group that included male students performed. The groups draw from the freshman through senior classes, said Ruth Ridenour, head theater instructor for the school.

At one point, the women's group formed a kickline in front of Potomac Bridals storefront windows, where a mannequin dressed as Santa stood next to a mannequin in a bridal gown.

Assistant State's Attorney Brett Wilson took a break from his duties in Washington County Circuit Court to watch daughter Kelly Dempsey, a junior at Barbara Ingram, perform.

Kelly was one of several students to sing a song solo at the end of the program.

Several others who work at the courthouse and county offices downtown also stopped to watch Thursday's performance.

Most of those present grabbed a bag of popcorn while they watched. Otterbein United Methodist Church wanted to help promote the city's holiday open house, since the church is downtown, too, church member Susan Hughes said. The church also will be giving away popcorn today and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., she said.

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Here are some of the activities offered in Hagerstown this weekend. For a full list, go to www.hagerstownmd.org/CCHS.html.

Today

o Noon, Barbara Ingram School for the Arts students perform in Public Square

o 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Otterbein United Methodist Church will be giving away popcorn

o City Park Lighting, 7 to 9 p.m.

Saturday

o 10:30 and 11:30 a.m., Lunch with Santa at the Gourmet Goat, 41 N. Potomac St., adults $10, children $6

o Noon, Girl Scouts of Washington County sing in Public Square

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