Carolers in Victorian costume, performances by local school groups and visits with Santa Claus will combine again this year as Mount Airy celebrates its second "Christmas in Olde Towne" during the first weekend in December.
Activities will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 4; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 5; and noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 6.
"We tried to do this last year at the last minute, but not too many things happened," said Irene Brown, who has organized the event. "Dave Greenwalt is really the person that gave the idea life."
David Greenwalt, editor and publisher of the Mount Airy News, said he came up with the idea while attending the Christmas festival in Harpers Ferry, W.Va.
"My thinking was that we could do something similar here, to bring the business community together and show off downtown," said Mr. Greenwalt. "So many people are worried about surviving rather than thriving, and the downtown area has a lot of charm."
This year, the committee was organized right after the annual Fall Festival. Ms. Brown was asked by Mr. Greenwalt and Nina Dennison, last year's chairman, to take charge.
"I was kind of drafted," Ms. Brown says of heading the Christmas in Olde Towne committee. "I had just finished doing the Fall Festival when they asked me [to lead the committee], and I said sure.
Activities this year include visits with Santa, story times at the Mount Airy News office and musical performances by local school groups.
nTC "I really wanted to get the schools involved," said Ms. Brown, who is the mother of two. "I feel it is important for kids to interact with the adult community."
In addition to the entertainment, town merchants will be available to take orders for their Christmas specialties. Customers can order holiday platters and meats from Mount Airy Locker; poinsettias, roping and wreaths from Snell's Nursery; and sweat shirts from the Christmas in Olde Towne committee.
Local service organizations and churches, such as the SoutCarroll High Key Club and St. James' Episcopal Church, will sell items.
Raffle tickets for a basket filled with donations by area businesses will pay for the other activities that weekend, Ms. Brown said. The remaining profits will go to the town's centennial committee to help pay for the proposed fireworks display during the 1994 celebration.
Examples of basket items include:
* Nexxus products from the Castle Center TLC.
* A $15 gift certificate from Jean's Custom Framing.
* A haircut and Nexxus products from the Carousel Beauty Hut.
* A Super Bowl Express first edition team car (HO scale) from Dennison's Trackside Hobbies.
* A $30 gift certificate and a catalog from the Nature Center in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
* A holiday floral arrangement from Browning's Insurance.
* A $25 gift certificate to the Olive Leaf Cafe from Frederick Underwriters.
* A children's video from Bohn's Video.
* Three six-packs of soda from Castle Liquors.
* Dinner for two from the Quail Ridge Inn.
* A $25 gift certificate from the Country House.
Tickets are $1 each or six for $5, and available at Snell's Nursery, Mount Airy Locker, Carousel Beauty Hut, Ben Gue Antiques, Fleming's Antiques, Dennison's Trackside Hobbies and Quail Ridge Inn. The winner will be chosen on Dec. 5.
Ms. Brown is still looking for additional activities. For example, she would like to provide carriage rides through town and help boost the high school students' bake and craft table with more donations. Information: 831-0096.
Schedule for Christmas in Olde Towne
* 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.: Santa will be available for pictures; Victorian minstrels and carolers will stroll through town.
* 6:00 p.m.: Mount Airy Middle School eighth-grade chorus leads sing-along of holiday songs at the municipal parking lot.
* 6:30 p.m.: Lighting of town Christmas tree, followed by a brief speech by Mayor Gerald Johnson.
* 6:35 p.m.: Mount Airy Middle School chorus performs at the tree.
* 7:00 p.m.: St. James Episcopal Church's choir sings in front of Browning's Insurance; story time for children held at the Mount Airy News office.
* 7:20 p.m.: Mount Airy Middle School band performs.
* 8:00 p.m.: Mid-Life Crisis barbershop quartet performs.
* 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.: Santa will be available for pictures; Victorian minstrels and carolers will stroll through town.
* 3:00 p.m.: Story time for children at the Mount Airy News office.
* 1:00 p.m.: Seabrook Seventh-Day Adventist choir performs.
* 2:00 p.m.: Taylorsville United Methodist choir performs; story time for children held at the Mount Airy News office.