Volume 12, Issue 47 ~ November 18 - November 24, 2004
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Let the Celebration Begin!

Big holidays demand too much to be compressed into the mere 24 hours allotted to ordinary days. Advent gives Christians 28 days to prepare for the big day of December 25, which in turn is celebrated for 12 days, up to January 6 when the Three Wise Men from the East reached the baby Jesus in Jerusalem. Jews need eight days to celebrate Hanukah, their feast of lights, commemorating the miracle that made one day’s supply of oil light the temple lamps for a week and a day.

Chesapeake Country has so much to celebrate that it takes more than 40 days to get it all in.

Herewith, Bay Weekly heralds the beginning of our season of celebrating.

Local Bounty, the special supplement to this week’s paper, is Bay Weekly’s annual holiday guide chronicling the preparations that lead up to the winter’s great feasts — Thanksgiving, the Winter Solstice, Hanukah, Christmas and New Year — and the festivities that surround them.

There’s so much going on that we fear you’ll be worn out just reading about it all — for that’s just what happens to us writing about it. So for your sake and ours, we’re glad the celebration stretches out for so long. Because, like us, once you see it, you’re going to want to do it all.

Preparing this massive book of celebrations, we’re awed anew each year at the richness of our region. Sure, a few of the hundreds of outings you’ll read about in Local Bounty take you to the edges of our region — Washington, Baltimore, the Eastern Shore — for unique spectacles like the National Tree in D.C. or the lighting of the Washington Memorial in Baltimore. And sure, a few — like the Three Irish Tenors coming to Maryland Hall on Dec. 22 — are professional performances on tour in our neck of the woods. But the great majority are home-grown events, produced and performed locally.

From the U.S. Naval Academy’s soaring Messiah to St. James Parish do-it-yourself Messiah sing-along; from Abigail Fransisco’s Classical School of Ballet’s Nutcracker danced mostly by children and teens to Ballet Theater of Maryland’s professional spectacle; from Merely Players’ youthful Little Women to fully mature Christmas Carols at Chesapeake Music Hall and Colonial Players — Chesapeake Country is awash in talent and culture that keeps us happily and richly close to home.

Of course that’s not all you’ll find in this special edition. Just as exciting are the offerings of our advertisers, who are really the people who bring you this Indispensable Guide to Holidays. The neighborhood businesses we all count on 365 days a year especially deserve our support this time of year. With such bounty of goods and services all around, we sure don’t need to spend our holiday dollars on foreign-made knockoffs imported by out-of-state chain stores.

Our neighbors give us so much to be proud of.

That, of course, is why we call this special Local Bounty.

Remember: You’ll need to keep your copy of Local Bounty through January 1, because — though it covers seven weeks — you can only get your free copy this week, when it’s inside Bay Weekly, ready and waiting to help you plan the festive season ahead.

© COPYRIGHT 2004 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.