Sykesville offers an old-fashioned Christmas


November 28, 1995|By Sherry Graham | Sherry Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE CRUNCH associated with the biggest holiday of the year is now officially upon us.

Signs of Christmas are springing up everywhere you look. Homes and businesses are bringing out the holiday greenery, and thousands of tiny lights are twinkling at night.

Are you wondering what happened to the days when folks enjoyed a quiet Christmas season? If so, the Sykesville Business Association invites you to downtown Sykesville during its third Annual Old Fashioned Christmas Open House.

"The open house is a way for merchants in town to thank their customers who've supported them throughout the year. It's also a great way for newcomers to the area to visit the town and see what's available here," said Mark Rychwalski, proprietor of the Craftsman Art Co. and chairman of the event.

Downtown Sykesville is decorated with fresh balsam wreaths and pine roping supplied by the business association. Most storefronts will also be decorated.

The open house officially begins Friday with the 6 p.m. arrival of Santa. A large evergreen tree fronting the Town House will be lighted at 6:30 p.m., and a cut tree near the Pullman Car will be turned on at 7 p.m.

The young and the young at heart can whisper their Christmas wishes to Santa in the Pullman Car from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Train enthusiasts should not miss the revamped train layouts in the Pullman Car at Baldwin Avenue and Oklahoma Road. The train display is open to the public from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday.

"The trains drew 560 visitors during the first three hours of the open house last year, and close to 1,100 people during the holidays," said Mark Bennett, president of the Sykesville & Patapsco Railway. "We expect an even larger crowd this year."

In addition to the display inside the recently painted Pullman Car, the group will run a new train display complete with lighted buildings under the decorated tree outside the car.

The group is also holding a raffle for a complete Lionel train set, which Mr. Bennett promises is "ready to take home and set up under your Christmas tree." Tickets for the raffle are $1 and may be purchased during your visit to the Pullman Car.

The train displays are also open the next three Saturdays (Dec. 2, 9 and 16) from noon until 4 p.m. with Santa visiting during vTC those times. Train displays only are open on the next three Sundays (Dec. 3, 10 and 17) from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Sykesville's Christmas Open House offers extended shopping hours, store specials and refreshments to visitors. Members of nearby Friendship Baptist Church will serenade visitors with Christmas carols.

Drive-through Nativity

The members of the Senior United Methodist Youth Fellowship at Wesley-Freedom Church are planning to tell the Christmas story in a rather unusual manner. In conjunction with the church's annual Advent celebration, the group will present a drive-through live Nativity Sunday from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Visitors driving through the church grounds will be able to view different scenes from the Christmas story, including the traditional manger and shepherds scenes. A puppet show geared toward young children will conclude the presentation.

Visitors are welcome to participate in the family Advent celebration inside the church. The celebration offers family workshops for creating an Advent wreath and a banner.

Information: 795-2777.

Holiday alternative

St. Joseph's Catholic Community will hold its 5th Annual Alternative Christmas Market on Saturday from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. in the parish's gymnasium.

Shoppers at the market can visit displays by service organizations to learn more about the groups and their work. The shoppers can then make a donation to the organizations of their choice as gifts for family and friends.

Many local service organizations will be represented, including ESCAPE, Resurrection Farm, Western Maryland Interfaith Housing, Christmas in April, Carroll County Pregnancy Center, ARC of Carroll County and Shepherd's Staff. Numerous other groups will participate as well.

Children's caroling, baked goods and other holiday treats, balloons, face painting and a craft area will lend a festive air to the event.

Information: 795-7838.

A better 'Mousetrap'

A murder is the mystery in the Liberty High School Drama Department's production of "The Mousetrap." The curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Admission is $4 at the door and $3 in advance. Information: 751-3650.

Ring in the New Year

The Sykesville-Freedom District Volunteer Fire Department will have its annual New Year's Eve Dance on Dec. 31 from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. in the hall.

The event will feature the country band Heartland, a buffet, champagne, beer, setups, continental breakfast, hats and noisemakers.

Tickets are $20 per person, or $35 per couple. For tickets or information, call Sue, 795-7122, or Steve, 549-2366.

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