CECIL COUNTY — Get into the holiday spirit with these wintry events leading up to Christmas.
Elkton Tree Lighting: Nov. 22, 6 p.m. — Santa Claus will be stopping by Union Hospital on a fire truck to light the hospital’s Christmas tree at 6 p.m. Then, he will be spreading the cheer at Elkton Chamber & Alliance building where he will light Town of Elkton’s tree. The tree lighting ceremony will be followed by light refreshments and opportunities to take photos with Santa. Bobbie Ann’s Dance Studio will be performing at both Union Hospital and the Elkton Chamber & Alliance.
North East Tree Lighting: Nov. 29, 5:30 p.m. — Students from North East middle and high schools will be performing, Blue Crew Boosters will be serving hot chocolate, and Santa himself will be there to light the Town of North East’s tree. The event will be held next to the Santa House on Main Street, so be sure to let Jolly Old Saint Nick know what you want for Christmas!
Chesapeake City Tree Lighting: Dec. 1, 6 p.m. — The Chesapeake City Lions Club’s Annual Treet Lighting will take place at Pell Gardens, where Santa will arrive to the festivities by a Clydesdale horse-drawn carriage. Once he’s there, the big guy will throw the switch, lighting the Christmas tree and all the Winterfest lights throughout the town — officially kicking off the Winterfest festivities. Santa will also draw the Stash the Cash winner, who will receive a prize of $500!
Christmas with the Ponies: Dec. 1, 1 to 5 p.m. — Freedom Hills Therapeutic Riding will host their Christmas with the Ponies event at their center, located at 33 Rolling Hills Ranch Lane in Port Deposit. Attendees will have the chance to take photos with St. Nicholas, miniature horse Nugget and miniature donkey Cotton. Music will be provided by bluegrass singer Dave Read. There will also be pony rides, face painting, reindeer games, refreshments available to purchase, crafts, opportunities to groom a pony, vendors and much more at the event to add to the holiday excitement. All of the proceeds from the Christmas with the Ponies will go towards equine facilitated therapy for people with disabilities. For more information, visit www.freedomhills.org.
Glass Ornament-Making Class: Dec. 1, 8, 15 — If you’re the type of gift-giver who likes to make presents for the special people in your life — or if you just want some beautiful, handmade ornaments to hang on your Christmas tree, Dove Valley Winery has you covered. Under the instruction of a glass artist, attendees will learn how to make their very own glass blown ornaments at the winery, located at 645 Harrington Road in Rising Sun. The class, which costs $50 per person, includes teacher instruction, equipment and supplies to make five glass ornaments, as well as a glass of your favorite Dove Valley wine. Attendees are asked to bring a bag or box to transport their ornaments home safely. Space is limited, so call 410-658-8388 to register for one of the classes. For more information, visit www.dovevalleywine.com.
Cecil County Christmas Parade: Dec. 7, 12 to 1:30 p.m. — As Cecil County residents get in the holiday spirit, the Cecil County Christmas Parade along North East’s Main Street seems like the perfect way to celebrate the Christmas season. Bundle up in some warm clothes, pack a few thermoses of hot chocolate, get a good spot to watch the parade, and enjoy floats, bands, performers and more!
Poplar Hall Christmas Market: Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. — Previously held at the Shelton family’s home in Newark, Del., this annual event is being moved to Pell Gardens in Chesapeake City. The European-inspired Christmas market has been selected by Food & Wine magazine as one the 50 top Christmas markets in America. Now, after outgrowing its original home in Newark, the Sheltons have moved the market to Chesapeake City to bring the experience to even more people. The market emphasizes handmade artisans and a vintage Christmas experience, with handmade European-style fare, biergartens selling craft beer, craft wines, a visit from an Old World Father Christmas, music performances, British cars and vintage British bikes, and much more! For more information, visit www.poplarhall.us.
Yuletide Festival: Dec. 7-8, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Mount Harmon Plantation will be decking the halls of their manor house with decorative greens sourced from the 200-acre nature preserve and fashioned by the Greenfingers Garden Club. The Yuletide Festival is inspired by Colonial Williamsburg, offering that same “step back in time” Christmas feeling without having to travel a couple hundred miles to Virginia. The event will feature hearth cooking demonstrations, hearth-made gingerbread and wassail punch in the colonial kitchen, children’s holiday craft activities, and holiday decorations and greens for sale. For more information, visit www.mountharmon.org.
Christmas in the Park: Dec. 7, 2 to 6 p.m. — In Lower Ferry Park, people will be able to enjoy Perryville’s annual holiday celebration, including a tree lighting ceremony. The Christmas market from 2 to 6 p.m. will feature local crafters where folks can purchase one-of-a-kind gifts. There will be a parade from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. with the route beginning at the Perryville Community Fire Department and concluding at Lower Ferry Park. Later, there will be a tree lighting ceremony at 5 p.m.. In addition, there will be refreshments, kids activities, and the chance to visit with Santa — all free.
Holly Tree Lighting: Dec. 7, 4 to 6 p.m. — For the 72nd year, the Historic Holly Tree will be lit in Holly Tree Park. Enjoy this free event as the park is illuminated with the light of the Christmas season.
Rising Sun Winter Extravaganza: Dec. 7, 5 to 8 p.m. — For the first year, the Town of Rising Sun is holding a winter extravaganza. The event will feature Christmas gift vendors, carriage rides, ice skating in the Center Square, and a tree lighting ceremony. For more information, call Town Hall at 410-658-5353 or visit risingsunmd.org.
Sip and Shop: Dec. 8, 12 to 6 p.m. — Shop local vendors for holiday decor and gifts, all while sipping drinks at the Broken Spoke Winery, located at 942 Glebe Road in Earleville. For more information, visit www.brokenspokewinery.com.
Cookie Throwdown: Dec. 13, 5 to 8 p.m. — Enjoy some tasty treats made by downtown Elkton merchants and vote on who you think created this year’s best homemade cookies. For more information, visit www.elktonalliance.org.
Breakfast with Santa: Dec. 14, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. — The Plumpton Park Zoo, located at 1416 Telegraph Road in Rising Sun, will host its own buffet breakfast. The event will also feature crafts and picture opportunities with Santa. For more information, visit www.plumptonparkzoo.org.
Cecil Dance Theatre Presents “The Nutcracker”: Dec. 14-15 — The Cecil Dance Theatre will bring to life The Nutcracker in this seasonal delight that you won’t want to miss. The cast of dancers will follow Clara and her prince as they take on adventures, battle the Rat King, travel through the Land of Snow, and indulge in the Land of the Sweets. For tickets and more information, visit www.cecildanenter.com.
SantaCon: Dec. 14, 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. — Enjoy family-friendly activities in downtown Elkton throughout the day. Then, starting at 4 p.m., participate in the pub crawl at various Elkton restaurants and bars. Dress up in your best Santa or Christmas-inspired costumes and join the fun.
Candlelight Tour: Dec. 14, 6 to 9 p.m. — On this holiday decor tour of Chesapeake City’s historic district, visit homes, bed and breakfasts, and churches. The evening will feature Carolers and carriage rides to get you in the mood for an old-fashioned Christmas. Be sure to bring a toy to bring for Toys for Tots. For tickets and other information, visit www.chesapeakecity.com.