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Power outage sends Annapolis into its candle-lighted past Colonial area in the dark for more than 90 minutes


Historic Annapolis got a taste of life in the candle-lighted colonial era yesterday when a power outage plunged the downtown business district into darkness for more than 90 minutes soon after lunch yesterday.

"I think it adds to the ambience," said Maryland Inn waiter Darden Bunn as he set tables lighted with long pink candles in the darkened restaurant on Main Street.

More than 890 customers along historic district thoroughfares operated in cold and darkness between 1:11 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. after a defective feeder line knocked out power to the area, according to Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.

The blackout "added to" a memorial service for her father-in-law at the Taylor Funeral Home on Duke of Gloucester Street, said Marie Clark.

"It was much more effective. Things happen. This was just one of them."

Several stores, banks and jewelry shops locked their doors to prevent shoplifting or robberies. At other stores, shoppers ventured into the street to get a better look at merchandise.

"What do you think of these?" Ed Douglas asked a passer-by as he held up a pair of sunglasses on the sidewalk outside Evolve on Main Street.

The last power outage downtown was roughly a year ago, when a transformer on Cedar Park Road blew. A squirrel was the suspected cause.

"Outages happen all the time -- squirrels getting into transformers, storms, faulty cables, you name it," said BGE spokeswoman Nancy Caplan. "Sometimes the only telltale sign is some sort of animal remnant."

Merchants were visibly relieved when the lights went back on yesterday.

Good cheer had been sagging at The Christmas Spirit on Main Street until the 360 strands of white lights twinkled back on, and the "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" tape came to life.

"All of a sudden, there was a burst of light," said saleswoman Lorraine Gordon.

"And now we're back in business."

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