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Lunch with Santa event a treat

December 05, 2009|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI

HAGERSTOWN -- Karen Goldstein wanted to do something different for the holidays.

"I wanted to take the kids to do something we'd never done before," Goldstein said.

So Saturday morning, Goldstein, of Keedysville, took Madeline, 8, and Nathaniel, 6, along with her parents, and met up with Santa Claus for a hayride around downtown Hagerstown.

"We had fun waving at the people passing by," Karen Goldstein said. "And the snow made everything a little more 'holidayish'."

Following the ride, the group headed to the Gourmet Goat on North Potomac Street for Lunch with Santa. Lively holiday music played, and Mr. Claus sat before a handsome, lighted evergreen.

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Nathaniel Goldstein was first to put in his requests. He tapped his fingertips together and put his folded hands to his forehead, trying to recall his wish list in full.

"I want Star Wars Legos, Zhu Zhu Pets...," he said fidgeting.

As he returned to his table, he remembered he'd forgotten the big one.

"Oh, I want an i Touch!" Nathaniel said.

Jennifer Kram, event and program specialist for the city of Hagerstown, said The Gourmet Goat and the city have been partnering to host Lunch with Santa for "more years than I can count."

Two dozen people, including adults, attended each of two lunches Saturday, one at 10:30 a.m. and another at 11:30 a.m.

"It's a great opportunity for people in the community to have a really intimate lunch with Santa," Kram said. "The lunch is part of our Christmas event, the City Center Holiday Showcase. It's a downtown open house to highlight all the little gems we have in the city."

Kram said a charge of $10 for adults and $6 for children covered the hayride, lunch and children's pictures with Santa.

"Downtown businesses have reported a good response and a lot of traffic," Kram said of the Holiday Showcase. "It's great to get people down to the city center because it's just so pretty down here."

Chris and Shauna Rattay of Hagerstown took Mya, 8, and Ava, 4, to the Lunch with Santa.

"The weather actually added to atmosphere," Chris Rattay said. "The snow was a very nice touch."

Shannon and Kristopher Gronholm of Hagerstown attended the event with their children Samantha, 9, and Michael, 7. Shannon's mother and grandparents came from Somerset, Pa., to town to attend the lunch last year, and returned this year.

"It's just so nice that everybody comes together just to have a good time," Shannon Gronholm said.

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