FOR CLOSE TO 50 years, Boy Scout Troop 460 has kept alive a Christmas tradition in Mount Airy: selling fresh-cut Christmas trees.
Loyal customers return year after year to buy the locally grown trees. Many second- and third-generation Scouting families buy their Christmas trees from Troop 460.
Daily and until just before Christmas Day, Boy Scouts will sell fresh Douglas firs, white pines, Scotch pines and Fraser firs. Prices start at $25.
Harold Thornburg, Christmas tree sale chairman, guarantees an excellent selection of trees. The trees are grown in nearby Gettysburg, Pa.
Hours are 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekends. The tree sale is in the lot adjacent to Sharma Exxon (formerly Four County Exxon), Route 27 and Interstate 70.
Proceeds from the tree sale provide the main source of funding for Troop 460. A significant amount from the proceeds is used to send members to Boy Scout summer camp. The tree sale is a joint effort of the Scouts, parents and troop leaders.
Fire safety open house
Santa Claus seems to be popping up everywhere these days. Sunday, children can catch a glimpse of Santa when he visits Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Company during its annual Christmas Fire Safety Open House.
The event, which typically draws several hundred people, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the fire station, 702 N. Main St.
Debbie Gartrell-Kemp, fire prevention chairwoman, assures children that Santa will arrive at the fire station "in a very special way." Gartrell-Kemp reminds parents to bring their cameras to photograph their children visiting with Santa.
All of Mount Airy's fire equipment will be on display, with several pieces of specialized fire equipment from neighboring communities. Carroll County's new Family Safety House, a converted recreational vehicle, will educate the public about fire safety.
Tim Warner, deputy fire marshal with the state fire marshal's office in Westminster, will be in attendance with Isaiha, a Labrador retriever trained in rescue and arson investigation. Isaiha will demonstrate his skills.
Exhibits by MADD and Maryland State Police will be featured, as well as blood pressure screenings and a 911 simulator. Parents may have their children fingerprinted and photographed in a Kids ID program sponsored by Mount Airy Lions Club and American Legion.
Gartrell-Kemp promises fun and informative fire prevention tips. Admission is free.
Mount Airy Players will present two short holiday plays, "Gift of the Magi" and "A Little Christmas Spirit," today, tomorrow, Sunday, Thursday and Dec. 8 and 9.
The local community theater will perform at Calvary United Methodist Church, 403 S. Main St., Mount Airy.
Directed by Charles Beck, "The Gift of the Magi" is a classic O. Henry story of a young poor couple, each of whom sacrifices to buy the other a special Christmas gift.
The true meaning of Christmas is examined in "A Little Christmas Spirit," directed by Donna Abel.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m. for all performances, except for this Sunday's matinee performance, which begins at 2 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children younger than age 12. On Thursday, all tickets are $5.
A door prize will be awarded at each show. Donations of food and personal-care items will be collected to be distributed to local needy families.
Olde Town Christmas
Mount Airy officially begins the Christmas season tomorrow with Christmas in Olde Town Mount Airy. The highlight of the evening is lighting the town Christmas tree by Mayor Jerry Johnson at 6 p.m. The Christmas tree will be displayed at the municipal parking lot, on Park Ave.
Other festivities include caroling at the Christmas tree beginning at 5:30 p.m. Santa Claus arrives at 6:15 p.m. at the F&M parking lot on Main Street. All children are invited to visit with Santa and have their picture taken. Free hot chocolate and candy canes will be available.
Take the children to Town Hall between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. for holiday storytelling. Punch and cookies will be served.
Throughout the evening, donations will be collected for the Wolds, a local family. The father was killed in an accident, leaving a wife, nine children and another on the way.
Additionally, sites will be set up for donations for Toy for Tots and for nonperishable foods for Mount Airy Net.
Information: Town Hall, 301-829-1424.
Christy Kruhm's Southwest Neighbors column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.