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Hagerstown's City Park lit up for Christmas

December 04, 2009|By BRIDGET DiCOSMO

HAGERSTOWN -- The 25-foot blue spruce that now floats in the middle of the lake at City Park once stood in the front yard of Vickie Shirley's home on Englewood Road.

"It was too big to string lights on," Shirley said Friday night at the annual lighting ceremony at City Park.

Shirley donated her two towering trees to the City of Hagerstown this year -- one for the lake and one that stands in Public Square downtown.

"Now, I have all my Christmas lights and you can see them. They're not hidden behind trees," Shirley said.

People lined the pathway surrounding the lake Friday as Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II flipped the switch to light the tree, and the parade of illuminated figures on the water followed in succession.

The new lighted display on the lake -- an added car on the train -- was sponsored by the Hagerstown Trust Division of Columbia Bank.

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Around 1,500 luminaria glowed along the walking trail around the lake as people clamored for the best spot to watch the lighting ceremony.

"There's the penguin," 7-year-old Audrey Harper said, pointing to each display as it was lighted.

She said her favorite of the figures was Santa Claus reeling in a fish from his perch in a small boat.

"This is our first year," Audrey's mother, Megan Harper, said.

She said her family decided to attend this year because Audrey and Ava, 4, were old enough to appreciate the festivities.

"Audrey got to see her friends perform," Megan Harper said, referring to the song and dance routine by the Hagerstown Children's Theater at the start of the ceremony.

Refreshments, hot beverages and free activities ranging from a petting zoo to a scavenger hunt were offered at Hager House, Washington County Museum of Fine Arts and Mansion House Art Center.

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