Leonardtown, MD — A large crowd packed downtown Leonardtown Friday night to ring in the Christmas season with the annual tree lighting and much-anticipated arrival of Santa.

Before the big event the town was packed with activities. There were stage performances by Bella Music School, St., Mary’s Ryken Choir, Emma Raphael, the House of Dance, Leonardtown Wildcats Cheerleaders, St. Mary’s Musica and a return visit from Gracie’s Guy and Dolls Dance troupe.

A festival sponsored by the Leonardtown Volunteer Rescue Squad Auxiliary filled the Winegardner showroom decorated with trees and wreaths and an electric train display. A silent auction was held with a chance to win a wagon full of toys worth more than $500.

Outside the dealership, rides were available around the town historic area with stops at Tudor Hall, the Old Jail Museum and the courthouse.

Elsewhere around town, luminaries, Christmas carolers and live-action vignettes entertained the crowd.

Santa arrived and the tree was lit at 7 p.m. and then Santa visited with the many children, finding out whether they had been naughty or nice and about their Christmas wish list. And Mrs. Claus’ tent was filled with stories and crafts.
Following the tree lighting there was a concert at Leonardtown Church of the Nazarene with professional jazz musicians, pianist Joe Holt and vocalist Beth McDonald.

The annual event, one of the most popular in a town which has many annual activities, is sponsored by the Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Department, Leonardtown Business Association and the Commissioners of Leonardtown in cooperation with a number of community financial partners.

Photos by Ron Bailey