Tree lights blink on, Santa takes requests Ceremony starts Linthicum's season NORTH COUNTY -- Linthicum * Ferndale * Brooklyn Park * Pumphrey

December 07, 1992|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Staff Writer

The late afternoon sun dipped below the houses along Maple Road. Eager children explained to Santa what they wanted for Christmas. And about 100 people cheered as Susan Hrybyk flicked a switch illuminating the yellow lights on the 25-foot tree at the corner of Maple and Camp Meade roads.

Christmas officially arrived in Linthicum yesterday afternoon.

This year's 4 p.m. tree-lighting ceremony was sponsored by the Linthicum-Shipley Improvement Association and the Women's Club of Linthicum Heights.

"Last year we had about 300 people here," said Ms. Hrybyk, a member of the association's Christmas Tree Lighting Committee. "But then it was 60 degrees out here."

Hot apple cider helped take the chill off yesterday's temperatures; guests also munched cookies and doughnuts as children lined up to see Santa and Mrs. Claus.

On hand for entertainment was the band Brass Reunion, playing holiday tunes throughout the event.

Pastor David Sohn of the Korean Full Gospel Mission Church, just across the street on Camp Meade Road, said a prayer in Korean asking Jesus to bless the community and the United States.

When master of ceremonies Clyde King asked the children if they knew who the guest of honor was, dozens of little voices chimed in: "Santa Claus!"

When he asked if they could wait a little longer for Santa, they all yelled "No!"

"But we have some things to do first," he protested.

"Skip it!" shot back one little boy, in a voice loud enough to get the whole crowd laughing.

Matthew Gneiting, 8, a third-grader at Linthicum Elementary, said he had five things on his Christmas list.

"I want . . . Battlemasters and a monster face," he said. "My cousin got Battlemaster last year."

The monster face is like a mask, he explained, and comes with accessory ears, noses and mouths to make it ugly.

Matthew's younger brother, Andrew, 3, said he had only one thing on his list.

"I want a voice-controlled fire engine," he said.

Kara Kristaponis, 5, waited in line to see Santa with her brother and mother. Her list was slightly longer than Andrew's and included a stuffed Dalmatian, a Barbie doll and a bike.

Her brother Brian, 3, said he wanted a toy backhoe and a toy pony.

Just before the tree was lighted, Eagle Scout Donald Wright, 18, formally dedicated the C. Milton Linthicum Memorial Plaque -- a brick sign welcoming people to Linthicum.

The sign, built as Mr. Wright's Eagle Scout project, faces Camp Meade Road at the edge of the community garden.

Mr. Wright, a senior at North County High School and member of Troop 822, said it took about a year and a half and about 600 hours of work to coordinate building the brick sign.

The structure was dedicated to Mr. Linthicum, who died last year, because of his service to the community and the Boy Scouts.

Mr. Linthicum's Boy Scout troop was sponsored by the same church as Mr. Wright's, but folded in the early 1930s.

"If it wasn't for that, I'm convinced that he would have become an Eagle Scout," Mr. Wright said.

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