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Olde Tyme Christmas 'a great family event'

December 11, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

FUNKSTOWN -- The inaugural bonfire at the annual Olde Tyme Christmas celebration Friday in Funkstown was reduced to a controlled burn to prevent blowing embers from spoiling the holiday fun.

Bob Rodgers, a member of the Olde Tyme Christmas committee, said organizers of the event decided to have a bonfire this year at Funkstown Community Park because the space has gone unused during celebrations in the past.

"We have this whole big park and nothing goes on," Rodgers said. "We just wanted to bring things out here."

Rodgers said he intended to let the bonfire burn until 9 p.m. Friday.

In addition to the bonfire, volunteers hung Christmas lights on the park's pavilion and set up about 500 luminarias to light walkways.

As the festivities grew closer to town, slow-moving traffic shared Baltimore Street with hayrides that took children on a loop around town to look at Christmas displays. At a live nativity scene in front of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, pedestrians were greeted by children who said "Merry Christmas" as they tried to stay warm in their shepherd's clothing while sneaking sips of hot chocolate.

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The most popular event seemed to be at Town Hall, where children and their parents filtered in and out by the dozens to eat cookies, drink punch and visit Santa Claus.

Brandon Kijowski, 6, of Hagerstown, said he asked Santa for Nerf guns so he could shoot his father, Travis, and 3-year-old brother, Jacob.

"I'm going to chase them with it," Brandon said. "I'm so getting it."

Brandon's mother, Stacey, said the family has attended Olde Tyme Christmas for the last few years.

"We like it," she said. "It's a great family event."

Best friends Emily Mawson, 5, and Jordan Timmons, 6, said they gave Santa identical lists asking for jewelry, makeup, Barbie dolls and angel wings.

"We're models," Emily said. "We're happy to see Santa."

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