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Bel Air MVA decorated in 'Polar Express' theme for holidays

Bel Air MVA visitors can experience a branch decorated for the holidays in the theme of the film "The Polar Express." The decorations will be up through the first week of January.
Bel Air MVA visitors can experience a branch decorated for the holidays in the theme of the film "The Polar Express." The decorations will be up through the first week of January. (David Anderson/The Aegis / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Those end-of-the month visits to the Motor Vehicle Administration’s Bel Air branch should be a little brighter during the holiday season, as the facility features decorations in the theme of the 2004 hit film, “The Polar Express.”

Maryland Department of Transportation MVA branches across the state “tend to see an uptick in traffic” at the end of each month for matters such as renewing vehicle paperwork, according to agency spokesperson Porlan Cunningham.

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“Coming into the MVA branch and seeing the festive holiday decorations makes the trip a little more joyful,” Cunningham said earler this week. “It’s definitely brought a lot of good positive energy to the branch.”

People visiting the Bel Air branch at 501 W. Macphail Road will see customer service counters decorated like a train ticket booth and the Polar Express train, with a small locomotive at the end of the long counter.

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Each customer service window at that counter has been decorated to resemble a window on a train car.

The decorations are part of an MVA tradition, when staffers in branches across the state decorate in different holiday themes, according to Cunningham.

“They do their own spin on their holiday decorations,” she said.

Branches don’t win prizes, but they can compete for “bragging rights,” according to Cunningham.

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Cunningham said she has seen the Bel Air decorations, as well as those in her home branch in Glen Burnie which have a theme based on Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”

“That’s been really cute, to walk into work every day and see [the decorations],” she said.

The state’s MVA branches will be closed Saturday, plus Christmas Day on Monday and Monday, Jan. 1, New Year’s Day, according to Cunningham.

The “Polar Express” decorations will remain in the Bel Air branch through the first weekend in January, said Cunningham, who confirmed that with Steva Darnell, the branch manager.

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