With Thanksgiving fast approaching, Carroll organizations are already shoring up their plans for their celebrations of the winter holidays. Every week, starting on Black Friday through Christmas, Carroll will be host to a variety of holiday events, both secular and religious, held at churches, community centers, libraries and businesses across the county.
Festival of Wreaths
On Black Friday, Nov. 27, the Carroll County Arts Council will open its annual Festival of Wreaths, featuring more than 170 unique wreaths created by members of the community. Wreaths displayed will be made out of everything from plants to tires, CDs, ceramics and more. The display will be held upstairs at the Carroll Arts Center, 91 W. Main Street, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily between Nov. 27 and Dec. 6.
Festival of Trees
Starting Friday, Nov. 27, the Festival of Trees will be on view at the TownMall of Westminster. The event, a fundraiser for The Shepherd's Staff, will feature a collection of decorated trees for sale in a silent auction. The event ends Dec. 12.
Miracle on Main Street
Westminster will signal the start of the town's recognition of the holiday season with their annual "Miracle on Main Street" event, Saturday, Nov. 28. The evening-long celebration begins at 4:55 p.m. with the Jingle Bell Run, a race which takes runners from the intersection of Hersh and Pennsylvania avenues through Main Street and ending at the Westminster Family Fitness Center.
Following the race, the city will host their annual holiday electric parade full of floats, musical acts, individual marchers and more. The parade will follow the route of the Jingle Run. When the parade has concluded, they will light the holiday tree on Locust Lane, and offer treats, activities and crafts for children at the Westminster branch of the Carroll County Public Library, 50 E. Main St., Westminster. Prior to the Jingle Run, the Carroll Arts Center will host a screening of the Christmas comedy "Home Alone," at 3 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 29, and Monday, Nov. 30, the Carroll Singers, directed by Beverly Gandolfo, will present a concert of "Christmas Memories" at the Westminster High School Auditorium, 1225, Washington Road, Westminster. The concert will begin at 2:30 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Monday, with tickets going for $10 in advance and $12 at the door.
At St. Paul United Methodist Church, 200 Main St., New Windsor, the Carroll County String Project, New Windsor Consort and St. Paul Choir will perform a "Seasonal Sounds Concert," Sunday, Nov. 29. This free concert begins at 6:30 p.m. and will feature a mixture of readings and music celebrating the Advent season.
Historic Holiday Farmhouse tours
Starting Dec. 1 and running through Dec. 20, the Carroll County Farm Museum will host holiday tours through their historic farmhouse. Tours will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Saturday and noon to 3 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $2. Each year the museum decorates the farmhouse in a different holiday theme.
Trees, Wreaths & Centerpieces
The Taneytown History Museum, 222 W. Baltimore St., will host the 10th annual "Trees, Wreaths & Centerpieces" event from Dec. 1 to Dec. 19. Viewing hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays. The event will feature the titular items as created by schools, businesses and individuals. Guests can vote on their favorites and place bids for the items they'd like to own.
New Windsor tree lighting
New Windsor will host the lighting of the town's Christmas tree at the intersection of Md. 75 and Md. 31 at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2.
12 Hours of Christmas
Sykesville will host their annual "12 Hours of Christmas" event from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3. During the event, downtown Sykesville shops will host sales, wine tastings, raffles and more.
Merry Main Street
Sykesville's celebration of the holiday season continues on into Saturday, Dec. 5 with their "Merry Main Street" event from noon to 4 p.m. at the Sykesville Town House, 7547 Main Street. The event will feature games and activities for children as well as storytime with Mrs. Claus and letters to Santa.
Christmas at the Movies
Carroll Community College on Thursday, Dec. 3, will host a selection of silent Christmas films from Hollywood's past at their event "Christmas at the Movies!" The event will feature the films "The Night Before Christmas," "A Christmas Carol," "Santa Claus vs. Cupid" and the Laurel and Hardy short "Big Business." These silent films will be scored by live musicians from the Peachirine Ragtime Society Orchestra. The films begin at 7:30 p.m. and are free and open to the public.
'Three Wise Men and a Baby'
Faith Lutheran Church, 1700 Saint Andrews Way, Eldersburg, will host performance of "Three Wise Men and a Baby" starting 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4. The event will feature a collection of student performers who have put together this musical version of the nativity tale. The performance is free and open to the public.
Taneytown tree lighting
Taneytown will host Christmas tree-lighting ceremonies at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, in front of the Taneytown Police Station, 120 E. Baltimore St.
Mount Airy tree lighting
Mount Airy's tree lighting occurs at 5 p.m. Satuday, Dec. 5, at 110 S. Main St. Mount Airy's lighting will feature performances from school bands and choirs. They will also host a parade beginning at 7 p.m.
'Big Band Merry Christmas'
In Westminster, the Carroll County Jazz Ensemble will perform the 14th annual "Big Band Merry Christmas Concert" benefitting Access Carroll, 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 at the Westminster High School auditorium, 1225 Washington Road, Westminster. Tickets are $12 in advance for adults, $7 for children. At the door, tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. The concert will feature vocal soloist Sarah Barker and the D & J's Dynamite Dance Company.
An additional holiday concert will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Carroll Arts Center, as Scottish musicians Pete Clark and Gregor Lowrey join Walt Michael and Co. for a Scottish-Appalachian Holiday. Tickets are $25 general admission and $20 for Carroll County Arts Council members, children younger than 18 and seniors older than 65.
'Most Wonderful Time of the Year' handbell concert
The Westminster Ringers and Accelerando will host "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" handbell concert at the Scott Theatre at Carroll Community College, 1601 Washington Road, Westminster at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6. The concert will feature a collection of Christmas songs performed with handbells. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $5 for high school students. Children younger than 14 are free.
Hashawha Holiday Hunt
The Bear Branch Nature Center, 300 John Owings Road, Westminster, is hosting a Hashawha Holiday Hunt at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6. The event, which costs $7 per child, will feature a search through the fields and forests for materials that will be used to create holiday crafts. Once the appropriate objects have been found, children between the ages of 5 and 10 will assemble decorations and gifts with optional hot cocoa and cookies available for each young artist.
'A Christmas Carol'
Starting Dec. 11 and running through Saturday, Dec. 12, the Carroll Arts Center will host three performances of the Dickens classic "A Christmas Carol." The play will be performed by the Maryland Ensemble Theatre who put their spin on the classic tale. Performances will be held 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, and Saturday, Dec. 12, with an extra performance at 3 p.m. Dec. 12. Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for council members, seniors 60 and older and students younger than 18.
Faith Lutheran Church, 1700 Saint Andrews Way, Eldersburg, will host a narrated live nativity at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13. The nativity will feature live animals and costumed performers telling the story of Jesus' birth.
'Charlie Brown Jazz Christmas'
The Eric Byrd Trio will return to the Carroll Arts Center for their annual production of "A Charlie Brown Jazz Christmas," where they perform the iconic Vince Guaraldi score to the classic television special. Performances will be held at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, and Saturday, Dec. 19, and 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19 and Sunday, Dec. 20. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for arts council members, children 18 and younger and seniors older than 60.
Carroll Dance Center's annual production of "The Nutcracker," the famous ballet, will take place at Carroll Community College's Scott Theatre, 1601 Washington Road, Westminster. The show will be held at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20. Tickets are $23.