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December 9, 2004

Around the Park: Tree party kicks off holiday season

From: Annapolis Capital, MD - Dec 9, 2004

By Leslie Hunt, For The Capital

A cheerful crowd gathered Friday on Holly Avenue for the fifth annual Severna Park tree-lighting ceremony. The event had a new twist this year with a countdown of the final seconds led by Linda Zahn, executive director of the Greater Severna Park Chamber of Commerce, and County Councilman Cathleen Vitale, R-Severna Park.

As if waiting for the ball to drop on New Year's Eve, they counted down until the 50-foot-tall American holly was aglow with shimmering white lights.

The gathering of holiday sightseers then broke into "O, Christmas Tree."

"It was the best year yet. The weather was perfect, crisp and seasonal, and we had a wonderful turnout," Linda said. "Hundreds of people were strolling the streets."

Kathy Nelson of Round Bay was pleased that she and her two boys, Tim and Ryan, made it on time for the tree-lighting countdown. "It added to the excitement," Kathy said.

The boys especially liked the cookies provided afterward by the chamber, and the appearance of Santa.

"That is the real Santa!" Ryan exclaimed.

Following the ceremony, Holiday Madness at Park Plaza was bustling with people. There was standing room only at Corky's Hard Bean Cafe.

"It was a wonderful celebration of Christmas with kids and adults having a great time," said owner Corky Gilbert.

The Chesapeake Harmony Chorus and singers from the Chesapeake Academy entertained shoppers.

"It was the busiest I've ever seen it. I was thrilled to see the throng of people and noticed quite a few were shopping," said chorus member Nancy Harring

Your chance to see local talent on stage continues as young adults from Severna Park perform in many holiday productions throughout the area.

The upcoming Children's Theatre of Annapolis production of "Guys and Dolls" includes these cast members from Severna Park: Ben Heemstra, Katie Jeffries, Shana Weiner, Michael Palien, Chelsea Reich, Katherine Riddle, Loghan Bazan, Brandon Deitrick, Paul Massaro and Rikki Gimelstob.

The show opens at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Pascal Center for the Performing Arts at Anne Arundel Community College.

Tickets are $10, $8 for senior citizens. Shows are scheduled on Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 18 at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 19 at 2 p.m.

The Saturday afternoon show will be interpreted for the deaf. If you're interested in seats close to the interpreter, request them when you order your tickets.

For information, call the box office at 410-757-2281 or visit

The Talent Machine Company's Holiday Memories 2004 opens Dec. 17.

The cast will entertain the audience with popular holiday songs, high-energy dancing and laughter.

Severna Park cast members include Suzannah Gratz, Zachary Karr, Jenna Lerario, Katie Pajerowski, Rachel Scott and Emma Vogelsinger.

Holiday Memories 2004 stars Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, Raggedy Ann and Andy and, of course, Santa and his elves.

The show runs from Dec. 17 to 23, with matinees on Saturday and Sunday, and an early matinee on Dec. 19.

Performances are at St. John's College in Key Auditorium. Tickets are $10, or $6 for children under 5. To order, call the box office at 410-956-0512 or visit


Please e-mail your news to Leslie Hunt at, write to her, c/o The Capital, P.O. Box 911, Annapolis, MD 21404, or fax it to 410-280-5953.

Published December 09, 2004, The Capital, Annapolis, Md.
Copyright © 2004 The Capital, Annapolis, Md.