Old-fashioned Christmas comes to Manchester

November 15, 1995|By Pat Brodowski | Pat Brodowski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

IF YOU WANT small-town warmth and welcome, a glimpse of Santa and a musical herald of holiday songs, visit downtown Manchester during its Annual Old Fashioned Christmas Open House from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 24.

Stroll between shops or hop aboard one of two horse-drawn wagons for an evening that's like a Christmas party, town tour and community thank-you rolled into one. It's all free.

You'll probably hear the merry sound of wandering carolers from local churches and you might discover that even Santa Claus enjoys the spirit of downtown Manchester, where at least 17 businesses will be open and the Manchester Historical Center will sponsor a show of local crafts.

Enter any door displaying a bouquet of balloons for refreshment, door prizes giveaways, and a warm dose of holiday cheer.

"This is our way of thanking the community for supporting us all year," said Sharon Nizer, who owns The Tin Rooster country accessories shop and originated the Open House five years ago.

"We don't push this as a sales gimmick because it's not," she said. "It started as a thank-you, as a way to bring everyone into town.

"Each store has something to entice people to visit," she said. "The shop owners are always amazed at the number of people that come. You don't [usually] see crowds of people like this in Manchester." Information: Sharon Nizer, 239-6155.

Christmas tree sale

With snow on the ground, thoughts of Christmas trees begin anew. In Robert's Field, 200 hand-picked and hand-cut trees will arrive for sale Nov. 24 next to Ace Hardware in Robert's Field Shopping Center.

Cub Scout Pack 790, sponsored by Spring Garden Elementary School, will choose the trees at J C Kirby Tree Farm in Taneytown to be cut before delivery.

The trees are $20 each and benefit the Scout pack. Last year, the trees sold out in two weeks.

Women's benefit breakfast

Hungry for pancakes, the cinnamon scent of cooked apples, with eggs and sausage -- as many as you can eat?

The Women's Club of Hampstead will be flipping the flapjacks and scrambling the eggs from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at the Fire Hall, 1341 Main St. The annual breakfast is a benefit the Hampstead Fire Auxiliary.

"We've been doing this for years now," said Charlotte Ratcliffe, club spokeswoman, who's been part of innumerable pancake breakfasts.

Cost is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 7 through 12. Those under age 7 eat free.

"There's usually a line waiting at 6 a.m.," said Women's Club member Hannah Stevens about a previous breakfast. She's again chairwoman for the breakfast, which serves about 300 people.

"We offer a lighter-weight breakfast, to keep the cost down for everyone," said Mrs. Ratcliffe, which means in addition to pancakes, the menu includes sausage, eggs and stewed apples, with orange juice, coffee, tea and milk. Information: 374-2424.

Fall art show

The Fall Show and Sale by members of the Hanover Area Arts Guild continues through Saturday at the Gallery, 32 Carlisle St., Hanover. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Only new works of art are on display, including crafts by Carolyn Seabolt of Westminster. Information: (717) 632-2521.

Annual winterfest

For "food, crafts, games, Santa Claus, and very nice Christmas shopping," people have traditionally gone to Winterfest at St. Bartholomew's Catholic Church, says Julia Longhenry, who is helping chairwoman Carolyn Evans.

Winterfest is at the church, 3071 Park Ave., Manchester, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

"I've been here 17 years, and it was going when I came. It gets bigger each year," she said.

One highlight is baskets and items by the Rev. Martin Demek.

"Father Demek has some gorgeous baskets he's put together by themes, such as the Twelve Days of Christmas, a basket of 12 gifts, one for each day. He's got numerous baskets for all age levels, for those with pets, those with children," said Mrs. Longhenry. "He's gotten into needlecraft. I hate to admit it, but he does the job 100 percent better than I do."

In addition to a bake table, crafts, games and raffles, Winterfest includes a harvest table of jellies, and such things as potatoes from a farm, eggs, apples, dried flowers and plants, plus a raffle for a ham. Information: 239-8003.

Pat Brodowski's North Carroll neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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