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Emmitsburg readies for annual
 Evening of Christmas Spirit

Teresa Grable

(11/14) Emmitsburg kicks off its official Christmas season on December 1st with festivities, including the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony and "An Evening of Christmas Spirit" has become a town tradition sponsored by The Carriage House Inn, The Town of Emmitsburg and Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association.

This year’s "An Evening of Christmas Spirit," which has always been held in conjunction with the town tree lighting ceremony, marks the 26th year that the Carriage House Inn holiday event has been formally held.

A few years ago, the community Christmas tree lighting ceremony was moved back to the traditional location at the Town Square. Mayor Briggs said, "The Lighting the Christmas tree on the Square is a time honored tradition. Bringing the ceremony back to the Square, the crossroads of community is a natural part of our emphasis on the community and why we are directing design, planning and investment into it."

The festivities begin with Christmas music in the Town Square at 5 p.m. in front of the old four-story hotel. The parking spaces in front of the hotel will be blocked-off to allow the public to gather for the festivities.

The community Christmas tree lighting ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. with Mayor Briggs performing the honors. The tree has been donated by E and E Trees in Walkersville and is an Austrian Pine that stands 14 feet tall. Santa Claus will arrive at the Town Square at 6:15 p.m.

The public is invited to sing along with Christmas carols that will be performed there as well by the Silver Lining band from Elias Lutheran Church and the chorus from Mother Seton School. Reverend Jon Greenstone from Elias Lutheran Church said, "I feel that Emmitsburg still has that rich experience of small town charm and when our teenagers participate by their involvement with Silver Lining band, it makes the true message of Christmas even more special."

Festivities will then shift to the Carriage House Inn with Santa Claus arriving at 6:30 p.m. The inn will be offering free hot dogs, cookies and hot chocolate to the revelers, and will be featuring a live Nativity by Tom’s Creek United Church, entertainment, and hayrides provided by Twin Oaks Farm.

The inn will have entertainment, including the Silver Lining band, St. Joseph’s Choir, Emmitsburg Community Chorus, Mount St. Mary’s Choir, and the Fairfield Show Choir – Knightime Impressions, in Joann’s Ballroom from 7 – 9 p.m.

Carriage House Inn owner Bob Hance said, "An Evening of Christmas Spirit has certainly become a town event since the tree lighting joined us many years ago. It seems to keep growing and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon."

Canned goods and donations for the Emmitsburg Lions Club Christmas Food Drive will be accepted at the Carriage House Inn that evening. Look for boxes in designated locations to place your canned goods or donations. The donations will fill Christmas baskets for families in need.

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