Mild weather and a strong dose of holiday spirit brought out a healthy crowd on Dec. 3 for the lighting of the Baltimore County holiday tree at Olympian Park near the Towson roundabout.
At Saturday's event, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz presided over the lighting of the 25-foot-high nylon evergreen.
The evening included musical performances by the Perry Hall Middle School eighth-grade Jaguar Choir, the Chapel Hill Music Sensations, Anna Apicella's School of Dance and the Towson University group, Purrrfect Pitch, as well as hot chocolate and cookies provided by Sheraton North Hotel and the Towson University Marriott Conference Hotel.
Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived by fire engine shortly after the tree lighting, and took up residence in Santa's Workshop — in the Towson Circle building — to hear children's wishes.
"It was a beautiful night," said Nancy Hafford, executive director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce. "It was the biggest attendance we've had in all the years I can remember. The kids had a ball, and we got such positive feedback from both parents and kids.
"The tree lighting gets better each year," she said. "We just keep adding to it."
The event kicked off Towson's Winterfest, hosted by the chamber to provide activities for children and adults.
Winterfest attractions continue this week. Fire and Ice Night is Friday, Dec. 9, from 6 to 9 p.m., with ice sculptures throughout the downtown, roasted chestnuts and s'mores and street performers.
Santa's Workshop will be open Saturdays, Dec. 10 and 17, with gifts from $1 to $5 for children to buy from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The workshop is accessible through the Shealy Avenue entrance to the Towson Circle building.
Breakfast with the Grinch will be held Saturday, Dec. 10, at 9 a.m., at Ridgely & Ferrens, 11 Allegheny Ave. The cost is $5 for children and $10 for adults, with a showing of the movie, "The Grinch," at 10:30 a.m.
A week later, on Saturday, Dec. 17, it'll be breakfast with Frosty at 9 a.m. at Souris' Saloon at the Towson roundabout. The cost is $5 for children and $10 for adults. There will be a 10:30 a.m. showing of "Frosty the Snowman."
Other Winterfest events include "HoHo Happy Hours," on Thursday, Dec. 8, 15 and 22, after 5 p.m. at participating eateries; and Men's Shopping Night on Thursday, Dec. 22, beginning at 5 p.m., with promotions and gift advice at local shops. For details, go to.towsonchamber.com or call 410-825-1144.
Parking meters are free for two hours in Towson from Sunday, Dec. 18, through Saturday, Dec. 24.
Loni IngrahamCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun