Santa to make appearance at tree lighting tonight


December 03, 1997|By Bonita Formwalt | Bonita Formwalt,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE CHRISTMAS season officially begins in Glen Burnie at 7 o'clock tonight with the lighting of the Christmas tree at Logo Park at Ritchie Highway and Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard.

Santa Claus will join members of the Glen Burnie Improvement Association, the Glen Burnie Volunteer Fire Company and the Glen Burnie High School marching band to light the tree.

The tree lighting is one of several ways Glen Burnie celebrates the holidays, notes Barbara Moeller, the GBIA's unofficial holiday chairperson.

In addition, the GBIA is offering to deliver children's letters to Santa. Children are encouraged to send their Christmas wish lists through the "special delivery" mailbox in front of the GBIA hall, 19 Crain Highway.

Each year, volunteers from the association forward letters received in the box to Santa, says Moeller. The Glen Burnie post office sends its Santa letters to the GBIA for official forwarding to the North Pole.

Moeller says letters received before Dec. 18 that include a return address will receive a personal response from Santa.

"He doesn't promise anything," Moeller assures concerned parents.

Occasionally, a handwritten note from Mom or Dad will elicit attention from Santa.

Each letter is special, observes 24-year-old Jennifer DeGrange, who helped Santa last year with more than 100 letters. Some are written by children, others by parents hoping to create a holiday memory. Some are not even written.

"We got letters with pictures cut out from magazines or drawings," recalls DeGrange. "Once I even got a puppet."

But children also know how to reciprocate the kindness and generosity of Santa.

"They'll write how they're going to leave out cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer," says DeGrange.

This year, instead of helping Santa answer the letters, DeGrange will be writing one for her own child, 5-month-old Brendin. Brenda Kelly has stepped in to help Santa this year.

Children who want to deliver their message personally can visit with Santa Claus when he attends the monthly meeting of the GBIA on Tuesday.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. with Santa expected to stop by around 8 p.m.

Children will get one more chance to deliver their wish list to Santa when he makes his annual Christmas Eve tour of Glen Burnie, his sleigh perched atop a fire engine.

"One good thing about the Glen Burnie Improvement Association [is] we try to continue the traditions for the families," says Moeller.

For information on any of the holiday events sponsored by the GBIA, call 410-766-6760.

Gift ideas

Santa may want to stop by two local craft fairs this weekend for gift ideas.

More than 200 craft dealers are expected to participate at Glen Burnie High School's holiday craft fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in the school's media building and business education building, 7550 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd.

The fair at GBHS draws visitors from all over the county.

Teacher Mary Huey promises a variety of quality handcrafted items. "We have paintings, ceramics, stained glass, wood, holiday decorations everything," she says.

Several school groups also will sell items, including advent calendars from the German Club and fireplace starters from the National Honor Society.

Proceeds from the event benefit projects for the Key Club and the class of 2001.

Information: 410-761-8950.

St. Paul's craft fair

St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church has scheduled its craft fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in the church hall, 308 Oak Manor Drive.

Proceeds will be used for the sanctuary piano fund.

Information: 410-766-2283.

Pancake breakfast

Holiday shopping requires stamina and shoppers can prepare for a day at the mall with an all-you-can-eat sausage and pancake breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at Marley United Methodist Church, 30 Marley Neck Blvd.

Tickets for adults are $5. Children 12 and under can eat for $2.50.

Information: 410-760-4720.

Soup sale

Soup's on from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the church hall at Messiah United Methodist Church, 7401 Furnace Branch Road.

This is the fourth year for the soup sale, which offers a menu of chicken noodle, vegetable beef, corn chowder, navy bean, potato cheese and chili selling for $2.25 a pint or $4.50 a quart.

Messiah's kitchen also will be open for an eat-in meal -- $2.50 for a large bowl, $1 for a small bowl including corn bread and crackers. Barbecue, hot dogs, deserts and drinks also will be sold.

Information: 410-761-1944.

Pub Date: 12/03/97

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