Hammonds Ferry Road dressed up for the holidays

This holiday season marks a festive first for Hammonds Ferry Road.

For the first time, the Lansdowne Business and Professional Association decorated several blocks of the strip with more than two dozen wreaths and 40 strands of white lights.

The lights illuminate wreaths and potted trees along Hammonds Ferry Road between Fifth and Hazel avenues, near the Santa House the association first opened at 2912 Hammonds Ferry Road in 2009.

"It was important to show that the (LBPA) has pride in the community, to show that we are active," said Charles Kountz, president of the organization.

"There are businesses there that need to be fixed up," Kountz said. "We're hoping that our efforts will spill over and make them do the same."

The decorations reminded Kountz of the ones he saw as a child in other parts of Maryland.

"As a kid, I can remember Hagerstown and Frederick. Christmas was a big deal and they always used to come out and decorate," Kountz said. "It's very similar to that, except on a smaller scale."

The decorations cost the association nearly $900, Kountz said.

It would have been more had the Corner Florist at 2619 Hammonds Ferry Road not donated the wreaths.

Each of the strands of battery-operated lights that shine starting at dusk and turn off in the early morning hours cost $20, Kountz said.

Shipping the lights cost about $70, he added.

"It's a pretty hefty investment, but that's one initial outlay," Kountz said.

He said the group will put the decorations in storage after the holidays so the expense of future holiday decorations won't be as great.

"It's just a question of putting them up next year," he said.

Phyllis Sipes, 76, has lived on the 2900 block of Hammonds Ferry Road since 1966 and said the holiday decorations are a new and welcome sight.

"I've never seen them light up and I think that's unique," Sipes said. "They're nice. I wish they would have put one up on my pole."

Wanda Ginn, 57, who lives nearby on the 2900 block of Hammonds Ferry Road, said she has had many people tell her positive things about the decorations.

"They're gorgeous this year. In the middle of town, it looks really good," said Ginn, who has lived at her house for 25 years. "At night time, it's pretty. I'd like to see them do this every year."

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