Westminster fun run and parade on Nov. 30 set stage for Santa's arrival

Westminster's annual celebration of the holidays begins on Saturday with a "Miracle on Main Street" holiday electric parade, jingle bell run, tree lighting and Santa's arrival.

The festivities begin with a mile-long Jingle Bell Run at 4:45 p.m. on Pennsylvania Avenue.

All ages are welcome to participate in the "fun" run, said Kristi Turgeon, recreation programmer for the city's department of recreation and parks.

At 5 p.m., the Holiday Electric Parade will begin with 47 entries and thousands of lights.

The parade ends with Santa's arrival.

After the lighting of the tree at Locust Lane, Santa's Treat will open in the Westminster Branch of Carroll County Public Library.

This is the second year the library has partnered with the city to host Santa's Treat, according to Christina Kuntz, branch manager.

The library will not be open for its normal activities, but will be open for Santa Claus to set up shop in the children's area. There will also be numerous activities, games and crafts for the younger visitors.

"It is such a great event," Kuntz said. "We're so happy it is happening here again at the library."

Last year, 300 children attended, Turgeon said. The city organizes and runs it, with the assistance of library volunteers.

"There were so many kids last year," Kuntz said. "It was a well-attended event and people seemed to really enjoy it."

For each Saturday in December, Santa will be available for visits from noon to 4 p.m., at his house, located on the library lawn for the first time this year.

"It was on Locust Lane," Turgeon said. "We moved it to the library hoping we will catch people coming and going to the library."

Throughout the day on Nov. 30 , businesses on Main Street will offer various specials as part of Small Business Saturday. Special sales and extended hours will also be offered on Dec. 6, for Starlight Shopping.

Main Street will remain open on Dec. 6, with marshmallow roasting and s'mores making on Locust Lane at a fire pit, live music and free horse-drawn carriage rides.

"There will be free 20-minute carriage rides around the city to see the lights," Turgeon said. "That's new. It is going to be very nice."

Families will also have the option of participating in "Parent's Night Out," from 5 to 8:30 p.m. during the Starlight Shopping event. The recreation center at the Old Armory will be open for children to enjoy the gymnasium and arcade room The city's camp staff will oversee activities and crafts. Registration is requested, though Turgeon believes no child will be turned away. There is a $16 fee for the first child, with additional children $6.

For information on all the holiday events in the city, go to http://www.westminstermd.gov

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