Festivities set to salute those who fought fire Blaze Dec. 9 ravaged historic district

January 08, 1998

Food, drinks and a free shopping spree downtown will be part of the festivities on Main Street in Annapolis tomorrow to salute the firefighters who fought a five-alarm blaze on Main Street a month ago.

Sponsored by the Community Associations of Annapolis and business groups, the event will be held in front of the burned-out India Palace restaurant at 5: 13 p.m., the time the fire was called in Dec. 9.

"This is our way of showing support for the downtown," said Alderman Louise Hammond, a Democrat who represents Ward 1. "It's to show appreciation to the merchants and a thank you to the firefighters. We're also hoping this will get people downtown to walk around and spend some money."

Many merchants said their sales suffered because Main Street was closed during the holiday shopping season. Mayor Dean L. Johnson is expected to praise the patience of downtown merchants and the endurance of the firefighters.

The event tomorrow will feature the Annapolis High School band, a Naval Academy firetruck and a trivia contest that will require participants to visit various stores for questions. The winner will receive a $250 shopping spree donated by area merchants.

Johnson will award one firefighter, whose name will be drawn from a hat, a $250 shopping spree.

An electrical malfunction sparked the $3 million, five-alarm fire, which destroyed a cluster of century-old buildings in historic downtown.

Pub Date: 1/08/98

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