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Busy holiday weekend continues in Harford County

Busy holiday weekend continues in Harford County
The Bel Air Lions Club hopes to finally have Christmas trees Saturday for its sales lot on the park and ride at Boulton Street and Route 24 in Bel Air. Deliveries from North Carolina supplier have been delayed because of unusually wet conditions where the trees are harvested. (ERIKA BUTLER/THE AEGIS/BSMG)

After a week’s delay due to a wet autumn throughout the East Coast, the Bel Air Lions Club Christmas trees will be delivered Saturday, a club member said.

They’ll be ready for sale by the afternoon, Lions Club member Dave Guzewich said Monday.

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The Christmas tree sale is one of many events taking place this Thanksgiving holiday weekend among others such as Black Friday shopping, Small Business Saturday and the Chesapeake Cancer Alliance.

At least two of the Lions Club’s three truckloads of a total of 1,700 Christmas trees will be delivered to the Lions lot on Kelly Avenue at Route 24 on Saturday morning.

He’s hoping to have help from Bel Air High School students to unload them, Guzewich said.

Typically, local Scout groups, athletic teams from Bel Air High and Bel Air Police Explorers help unload the trucks so volunteers can cut them open, count and sort them and set them up in the stands.

“We’ll have to rally to see who’s around,” Guzewich said. “Once we get the trees off the truck and on the lot, we’ll feel a lot better. I think we can open after lunch.”

If the third truck doesn’t get there Saturday, it will within a few days, Guzewich said.

The Lions Club sold out of its 1,500 trees early last year, so it ordered more this year, he said.

This is the biggest fundraiser for the year for the Bel Air Lions Club, which tries to make $20,000 to $25,000 annually from the sale of the trees. Each costs $60 each, regardless of size.

Due to the delivery delay, the Lions Club may have lost a week in sales. But Guzewich said it shouldn’t have too much of an impact, since 90 percent of their trees are sold after Thanksgiving. Two-thirds of the trees are sold the first two weekends in December.

Guzewich said Lions Club members hope to better organize the trees this year, with the 5 to 6-feet-high trees and the 9-feet-high trees set aside in special areas. The most common size sold is 7 to 8-feet-high, he said.

Festival of Trees

Today also marks the beginning of the 13th annual Chesapeake Cancer Alliance Festival of Trees at the Bel Air Armory.

The Festival of Trees runs today from 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults each day and children younger than 12 are free. Children younger than 12 can enjoy face-painting and making gingerbread houses for $5.

This year, more than 50 decorated Christmas trees, 40 wreaths and 16 gingerbread houses will be sold, either at “buy it now” prices or silent auction, and all proceeds will be donated to the Kaufman Cancer Center at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center.

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Entertainment throughout the weekend includes local musician John Sobus, the Bel Air High School pop choir A Capella Journey, Dance With Me School of Dance and the Hopping Hawks.

In addition to the auction, the event includes a breakfast with Santa at the Main Street Tower restaurant on Saturday, Nov. 24 from 9 a.m. to noon. The cost is $12 for adults and $9 for children 4 and older. Reservations must be made by calling 410-838-8007.

Small Business Saturday

After Black Friday and huge sales at national retailers, Saturday is a day to support the local merchants, the people who live in the community and contribute to it.

“Small Business Saturday is exactly what it says in the title, a time for shoppers to support their local ma-and-pa shops,” Bel Air Downtown Alliance Executive Director Christine McPherson said. “These shop owners bring so much to the table for the community. They’re the ones throughout the entire year that are supporting the community. This is a great day for the community to support the business owner.”

Small businesses are what makes a town, like Bel Air, unique and vibrant, she said.

Stores in Bel Air will have extended shopping hours all weekend, especially Saturday, with special promotions throughout the weekend.

The Alliance has been promoting all the Bel Air small businesses to generate interest in them.

It has run a social media campaign to highlight the various businesses by sharing their social media pages and sharing them with their friends.

The Alliance may have 14,000 people who like their pages, but the stores may only have a few hundred or 1,000. The Alliance sharing the business pages should increase those numbers of the stores.

“You can’t just be brick-andmortar anymore, so we’re trying bricks and clicks, really working with small business owners to have that ‘click’ presence,” McPherson said.

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