12th annual Mardela Springs celebration is Sunday

The 12th annual town-wide celebration of the Christmas season will once again take place in Mardela Springs on Sunday, Dec. 10.

The tradition began when the town’s two historical organizations  – Westside Historical Society and Adkins Historical and Museum Complex – joined forces in 2006 to proclaim the strong sense of history and tradition in this little Eastern Shore village by opening the museums, restored historical structures and homes, and private homes to  observe the holiday the “old fashioned way.”

Yes Christmas lights are displayed, but many of the decorations and activities proclaim a respect for an earlier, slower, less technical or costly yuletide observance. Soon, the volunteer fire company joined in the planning and hosting of the event and it has remained a real community event.

This year a parade starting at 3:30 will end at the Fire House where a new annex will be dedicated.

This year the trams and horse drawn wagon continue to offer rides around town, the museums and historic buildings are open for tours and refreshments,  private homes are open to public visits, there will be music on some front porches or in the 1842 Church, and great food – in the Methodist Church and Fire House.

Also in the Fire House, vendors will be offering all sorts of treasures, and Santa will welcome children by the fireplace.

Some new things will be on view as well – fun games and crafts for the youngsters at five different locations, with special prizes for them at the end of the evening near the lighting of the Town Christmas Tree.

There will be costumed guides, a petting zoo, Civil War re-creators, and model villages will be in various locations.  A new focus on the history of this town, one of the oldest in Wicomico County, recalls the almost 200 years when it was known as Barren Creek Springs and the mineral water springs made the town a  mid-Atlantic spa visited by thousands.

There is no admission fee.

A 5K Jingle Bell Run-or-Walk at 2:30 p.m. will preface the festivities, which begin with a parade at 3:30 and run until 7. Street traffic will be limited to trams and horse/wagon, and emergency vehicles, during the 4 to 7 time period, but parking will be permitted on side streets and near the Fire House.

It is suggested that visitors bring a flashlight since, although street lights will be on, in some spots it may not be as well lit.

For more information on any of these activities email westsidehistorical@gmail.com,  adkins5829@gmail.com  or phone  410-546-4672 or, for the parade 443-880-5469, and for 5K Run 410-726-8047.

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