Wind whips Aberdeen celebration Many brave icy blasts to attend event

December 06, 1992|By Sherrie Ruhl | Sherrie Ruhl,Staff Writer

The volunteers at Grace United Methodist Church gave up on their cotton candy machine after about two tries.

Icy blasts of cold air yesterday during Aberdeen's annual Christmas celebration yanked the blue-and-pink spun candy off sticks and into the air. Some ended up stuck to ivy bushes next to the church.

"This is still fun; I'm glad we came," said Glenn Gillis, a member of the church.

L His 6-year-old son, Michael, agreed. "This is fun," he said.

Aberdeen choose a "rock 'n' roll" theme for its annual celebration, and the town got its wish from the gusting winds.

Cold arctic blasts came with Santa Claus, who rode in the afternoon parade, and sudden surges of air knocked over signs and banners.

Even an Elvis look-a-like, performer Mike-El, couldn't chase the cold away. Winds filled his microphone with so much static that he gave up after three songs.

But the cold couldn't keep about 25 women from gathering in front of the church to listen to him croon.

Kathy Ray, the event's chairwoman, said organizers had expected more than 5,000 people at the celebration. But attendance fell far short of that, as icy winds apparently kept many from venturing out. Ms. Ray said she was unsure how many attended.

The weather didn't seem to bother 8-year-old Heidi Chase.

She insisted her mother, Zizi Chase, and a friend, 8-year-old Melissa Plumber, come early for the parade. The three came nearly an hour early to stake out a good spot along the route.

Two fire trucks broke out of the parade and raced off, responding to a single-alarm fire caused by a water heater at 28 N. Philadelphia Ave. No one was injured in the blaze.

David Druyor, at the Sudstop laundromat, invited one street vendor in from the cold.

Jean Basile had set up her table along West Bel Air Avenue.

She wanted to take advantage of the crowds she hoped would turn out for the town's annual Christmas celebration.

"He was really nice. He told me I could even bring my table inside but I think I'll get more business if I leave it out there," Ms. Basile said.

Sitting inside, she kept a close eye on her homemade cookies and her canning jars full of sweet peppers, eggplant and olive.

The wind knocked over one jar and broke it, and twisted the tablecloth around the table's legs.

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