Annual Vienna Luminaria event set for Saturday

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Vienna is the place to be this coming Saturday as the 1,500 luminarias are rolled out to line the streets for the 35th year. Walk, ride the free Vienna tram, or drive to enjoy the spectacle and the decorated homes.

VIENNA — Vienna is the place to be this coming Saturday as the 1,500 luminarias are rolled out to line the streets for the 35th year. Walk, ride the free Vienna tram, or drive to enjoy the spectacle and the decorated homes. From 5-9 pm, stop along the way to see the museum and get a treat, visit historical buildings, enjoy entertainment at churches, and talk to Santa. A number of homes will be open to those with house tour tickets.

This is a special memorial year in honor of Marynan Spear and her 35 years of service for the Vienna Heritage Day which became the Vienna Heritage Foundation. Believed to be the longest active member, she served as least four years as president and more recently for many years as the treasurer and the organizer of the open houses.

Headquarters for the evening will be the Vienna Heritage Museum, 303 Race St. This is the must stop place for house tour tickets. The cost is $5 per person with children under 6 free and is the only cost of the evening.. While at the museum, visitors can view a demonstration by Daniel Martinek of button making on the equipment from the last family-owned pearl button factory. Serving also as refreshment center, partake of a free hot drink and edible treats.

Down Race St. at 106 find the former ferry tender’s house. Inside are a number of pictures from an earlier Vienna time. For the evening it is a special place for the young – Santa’s House
The Ewell House at the end of Race Street adjacent to the boat ramp contains perhaps the earliest house in Vienna. Tim Brower invites visitors to enjoy the home decorated in a 1760 air. Also find The Water Street Gallery.

Elise and Harvey Altergott at 113 Water St. enjoy sharing their home which for many early years was a main center for Vienna hospitality. Presently, the authentic and tastefully restored rooms not only contain nice furnishings but will, as for the past 20 some years, be full of a warm receptive spirit from the Altergott’s.

Lynn and Jewell Fluharty welcome guests to their home at 119 Water St. The house was built in the early 1800s. Among their nice decorations inside, Ms. Fairbank, the wooden swan, will give a special silent welcome.

Across the street, the 2012 Gazebo is the highlight of Vienna’s water front park.

The former Customs House will be found at the corner of Church and Water streets. Built about 1791 and reported to be the oldest surviving Maryland Customs House, it serves as a reminder of Vienna’s founding in 1706 and its importance as an early port.

At 105 Church St. find a four square style house built about 1922 by an owner who is reported to never have lived in the vacant house. About 10 years ago the rear family room was added and a little later the rear deck/porch was built. Homeowner Valerie Nwakudo is ready to share the extensive remodeling done the last couple years and the 3 to 4 decorated Christmas trees.

Pearcy’s Purchase at the corner of Middle and Church streets is owned by Leslee and Steve Levin. The three fireplaces have original mantles and at least one will provide the warmth of colonial times. The mantles also serve as a great place to display a collection of Santa’s.

The 123-year-old St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Church Street will have out the welcome mat. At about 6:30 pm there will be a special sharing time with seasonal music from Vienna Elementary School select students, directed by music teacher Richard White.

Across the street, members of the 113-year-old Vienna United Methodist Church invite visitors to pause in their sanctuary as Bob Pinto plays the keyboard. In the 1953 Fellowship Hall. Katherine Allen and helpers like to share hot and cold drinks and other goodies.

Visit the Captain John Smith Nanticoke River Discovery Center on Old Ocean Gateway at Middle Street. Practice your artistic skills by taking a hand at decorating a free cup cake at Jeanne Cakes. The location is 115 Old Ocean Gateway next to the Discovery Center.

For ease of parking off the streets, the recommended place to start the evening activities is to park at the Edwin A Murphy Community Center, 104 Race St., or at the present Vienna Town Hall/ball field, Market St. & Middle St. extended. The Vienna free tram will take visitors to the Museum and to other spots in town.

The 1uminaria event is special hospitality time for Vienna as it supports customs from the past. One suggestion is that the Luminarias are symbolic of the shepherds’ bonfires the night Christ was born. Or it could be that they serve to guide the Christ Child to one’s door. Other supported customs of a more local flavor are sharing, the visiting of others, and the receiving of guests into our homes at Christmas time.

Sponsored by the Vienna Heritage Foundation with assistance of the Chicone Ruritan Club. Thanks go to the Chicone Ruritans and helpers who will be setting out at dusk and collecting later the luminarias.

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