HAGERSTOWN — The city of Hagerstown will host the annual tree lighting in Public Square today at 5 p.m., followed by the 22nd annual Hollyfest at The Maryland Theatre at 7 p.m.
The master of ceremonies for the events will be Lou Scally. The events are free and open to the public.
The tree lighting begins at 5 p.m., with the North and South Hagerstown High School bands performing in Public Square, and members of Girls Inc. will serenade onlookers with Christmas carols. Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Parents Guild will be painting faces while waiting for the arrival of Santa Claus.
This year, the Christmas tree in Public Square is a 25-foot Blue Spruce donated by Harold and Joann Burger of Hagerstown.
Students from Barbara Ingram School’s Visual Arts Department and Kathy Thorsen, tree-decorating chairwoman, will help Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II light the Christmas tree at 6 p.m.
Ornaments were created for this year’s tree by students from Barbara Ingram School under the direction of Teresa Roberts, including Kiara Anderson, Emma Andrukat, Sage Brewer, Taylor Cooley, Corey Householder, Leann Hill, Emily Jordan, Natalie Kauffman, Kylie Magnis, Kelcy Moore, Julia Muller, Dionie Ruiz, Kylee Seymour, Abby Soper, Iris Wechsler, Darrien Wilson, Derrick Johnson, Skyler Hall, Natalie Kauffman, Liana James, Amanda Harrast, Kayla Keeler, Mary O’Connell, Erin Mettille, Tyresha Carter, Carly Reagan, Abby Recabo, Ashley Sutphin, Annika Rochefort, Shelby Baugher, Andrew Sandeen, Patrick Soper, Caitlin McPherson, Esther Chin, Amanda Zabala, Helen Domsky, Sarah Gilellan, Gideon Beebe, Alex Baughman, Ty Fitchet, Lindsey Long, Nahja Collins, Lauren Giannola and Alex Snyder.
Bulls and Bears will provide free hot chocolate and refreshments in the square, and Otterbein United Methodist Church will give away free popcorn. The tree lighting is sponsored by Volvo Powertrain.
Immediately following the tree lighting, Hollyfest will begin at 7 p.m. at The Maryland Theatre. Hollyfest began as a Christmas parade, but over the years the merriment has found a warmer home, welcomed indoors by the theater. The event features the talent of local students and children’s groups from the community.
The city of Hagerstown, in conjunction with sponsors Verizon Wireless, The Columbia Bank, Hagerstown Trust Division and Antietam Cable Television/Disney, announce the participants: Smithsburg High School Orchestra; Smithsburg High School Jazz Ensemble; North Hagerstown High School Concert Choir; North Hagerstown High School Show Choir; North Hagerstown High School Madrigals; Hagerstown Children’s Theater; Washington County Show Kids and Show Co.; Dancin’ Time Studios; YROC Drama Ministry; Barbara Ingram Strings; and Shirey’s Students.
Miss Maryland Carlie Colella will read “The Night Before Christmas,” and there will be appearances by the Dean of Magic and Santa.
A list of participating businesses open during the tree-lighting event can be found at www.hagerstownmd.org/treelightingbusinesses.html.
For more information, call 301-739-8577, ext. 116 or 183.