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It's Christmas parade weekend in Harford

Now that we've all had a chance to be thankful, the Christmas season is in full swing. Decorations are going up, children are visiting with Santa Claus and carols are streaming from radios, phones and in stores.

That means the annual Harford County Christmas Weekend must be near. It begins Friday, Dec. 2, and continues through Sunday, Dec. 4, with parades in Havre de Grace, Aberdeen and Bel Air to usher in the holidays.

HdG Parade

Havre de Grace kicks off the Christmas parades Friday, Dec. 2, with its "Light Up Night" tree lighting and Christmas Parade, presented by the Winter Wonderland Committee.

The annual parade along St. John and Washington streets begins at 6 p.m. and will welcome Santa to Havre de Grace.

The parade is followed by the Christmas tree lighting at the corner of Washington and St. John streets in Rochambeau Plaza.

After the tree-lighting, Santa will be available at his house, called Santa Land, on North Washington Street.

For children who miss Santa Dec. 2, he will be at Santa Land on Dec. 10 and 17 from noon to 1 p.m. each day.

Christmas Street

Aberdeen's Christmas Street celebration, featuring "Christmas Stories," is Saturday, Dec. 3, from morning until night.

The festivities start at 7 a.m. with Breakfast With Santa at Grace United Methodist Church until 11 a.m.

Shop for unique gifts and purchase lunch at the Christmas Craft Fair at the Aberdeen Fire Department's Rogers Street Firehouse from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The Aberdeen Room Museum and Archives at 18 Howard St. is open from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Grace United Methodist Church will also host a nativity scene display from 1 to 2 p.m.

Beginning at 2 p.m., for the hour leading to the main event, street entertainment will be provided along West Bel Air Avenue, where visitors can also see the window contest winners.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive in Aberdeen at the end of the city's Christmas Street Parade down West Bel Air Avenue, which begins at 3 p.m. Other special guests will also make appearances.

Lighting of the city's Christmas tree and visits with Santa will follow the parade in Festival Park.

Bel Air parade

Bel Air winds up the festive weekend on Sunday, Dec. 4 with the 27th Annual Town of Bel Air Christmas Celebration.

A free concert will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Main Street in front of the courthouse to entertain the crowd before the parade.

The main event, which begins at 3:30 p.m. and marches down Main Street to Lee Street then to Shamrock Park, features stilt-walkers and acrobats; local high school marching bands; costumed characters and mascots; beauty queens; performance units, dancers, floats and musical groups and special equestrian guests.

Bringing up the end of the parade is the main man, Santa, with Mrs. Claus at his side.

Following the parade, at 4:15 p.m., Santa will make his way to the park for a community bonfire and singalong, with free cookies and hot chocolate before the town's Christmas tree is lit at 5 p.m.

The event is weather permitting. In the case of bad weather, the event will be canceled and not rescheduled.

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