SANTA CLAUS will leave his sleigh in the garage and arrive in Mount Airy in an unusual conveyance to a town showing its patriotism for the holidays.
"Christmas in Olde Town" will begin at 6 p.m. tomorrow with events at the town parking lot off Park Avenue and a Santa's Lane behind the former F&M Bank on Main Street.
Pupils from Mount Airy Middle School will begin the festivities by singing Christmas carols. Mount Airy Elementary School second-grader Daniel Avril will light the town Christmas tree.
Santa Claus will arrive in a nontraditional way -- via motorcycle sidecar. He will view the tree, then be whisked to Santa Claus Lane. The event is being planned by Mount Airy Lions Club. Committee Chairwoman Rose Ann Parenteau said the event took on patriotic tones after the terrorist attacks Sept. 11.
"We've made 300 red, white and blue ribbons to decorate the town tree," she said. The club will sell the ribbons at the tree-lighting, and proceeds will go to the Ruth-Vauk Scholarship fund.
Two Mount Airy men, William Ruth and Ronald Vauk, were killed in the attack on the Pentagon. The town has established a scholarship fund in their name. The sale of bows will begin at 5:45 p.m.
Elves, with members of the Lions Club, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Jaycees will work Saturday to set up the children's wonderland. Frosty the Snowman and animated figures will entertain children while they wait for Santa.
Hot chocolate will be served. Donations will benefit the Lions Club Christmas baskets. The group provides more than 30 Mount Airy area families in need with food and presents at Christmas. Polaroid photos with Santa and candy canes will be free.
"The money we raised at the carnival helps us to support this annual event. We feel we should give something back to the community," Parenteau said.
Mrs. Claus will read holiday stories to children at Town Hall. Cookies and punch will be provided by Mount Airy Senior Center.
More than 400 children are expected.
5:45 p.m., Patriotic bow sale.
6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Mount Airy Middle School Christmas caroling.
6:30 p.m., Lighting of town Christmas Tree- Santa arrives.
7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Santa Claus Lane is open and Mrs. Claus reads holiday stories at Town Hall.
Firehouse open house
Mount Airy Fire Department will hold a Christmas Fire Safety Open House from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the firehouse on North Main Street.
Interactive demonstrations, costumed characters, and public safety representatives from across the state will teach fire safety, especially during the holidays.
The "Family Fire Safety House," sponsored by Carroll County Firemen's Association, will be open. Visitors can walk through rooms in the converted recreational vehicle and see fire hazards in houses. The interactive demonstration includes showing children how to find a secondary escape route in a fire.
Santa Claus, Sparky the fire safety dog, Pluggie the robotic fire hydrant and Mount Airy's fire prevention queen will offer tips.
The state fire marshal's office will have demonstrations with its arson detection dogs. The Lions Club and Maryland State Police will offer identification photos and fingerprinting for children. Carroll County Health Department will inspect children's car safety seats. Blood pressure screenings will be offered. To schedule a time: 410-876-4448.
Fire station tours will be given throughout the day.
History of Mount Airy
Residents can learn what Mount Airy was like more than 100 years ago when the Historical Society of Mount Airy presents the third in its series of talks on the town's history.
Longtime Mount Airy resident C. Oscar Baker will hold the seminar at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Mount Airy firehouse.
The public is invited to bring photos they would like identified.
Lesa Jansen's Southwest neighborhood column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.