Taneytown greets holidays with events

Holidays: A host of festive, free community happenings are planned this month for families.

November 28, 1999|By Caryl A. Austrian | Caryl A. Austrian,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A parade, a puppet show, and a family carnival and cookie contest await Taneytown residents and visitors this holiday season.

The festivities, sponsored by the Taneytown Chamber of Commerce, began yesterday evening with the lighting of a holiday tree in front of Farmers and Mechanics National Bank, 222 E. Baltimore St.

This year, a custom-made sign -- in the shape of 4-by-6-foot angel wings -- will be near the tree and will display the names of donors to the Sharing and Caring Association, an organization that provides food and necessities to people in Taneytown. Carroll Sign Group owners Jerrie and Mike Cole donated their time and materials for the sign.

Melissa Harris, co-chairwoman of the holiday committee organizing the events, suggested that people make a contribution in the name of a deceased loved one. Farmers and Mechanics National Bank is handling the collection of funds and will accept contributions at any of its branches.

The holiday committee also includes co-chairman Louis Lanier, George Crouse, Kim Coyle, Robert Flickinger, Bill Mackinzie, and Dale Hoehn.

Thanks to the generosity of local businesses, all the holiday events will be free, Harris said.

The holiday parade, which begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, will be announced by a town crier portraying Scrooge from Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."

Santa Claus, portrayed by Lanier, will arrive via Midland Railroad, a private line whose services are being provided free.

The parade will include floats representing the Taneytown post office, the library and local organizations, as well as fire engines, and middle school and other bands. Local groups are welcome to join the parade with their banners or signs.

In addition, children are invited to join a "Parade of Elves" as part of the larger parade. Prizes will be awarded for best costumes.

Mackinzie said getting youth to participate is a goal this holiday season.

"We want young people to come back to the holiday spirit and join in these activities along with the rest of the community," he said.

Another highlight of the holiday program will take place at 7: 30 p.m. Dec. 9, when the Beale Street Puppets of Baltimore will appear at Taneytown Elementary School.

The show is free, and a question-and-answer session will follow the performance.

The family carnival and cookie contest will be held from 6: 30 p.m. to 9: 30 p.m. Dec. 19. Games include a gift-wrapping contest, in which participants pair off and try to wrap a package -- while one hand is tied to one of their partner's hands.

The carnival also includes a raffle for various prizes.

For the cookie contest, anyone may bring cookies for judging by senior citizens from the local Senior Center. Local restaurants will provide soft drinks. More information about the contest will be available at City Hall on Thursday.

"This event and the others in our holiday program are designed to bring families together," Harris said. "And it's important for our young people to see and appreciate how the community works together to ensure the success of these efforts."

Information: 410-775-1097.

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