Celebrate with Festival of Lights, Christmas past, gingerbread houses and more events
Festival of Lights at Watkins Park, in Upper Marlboro. Spectacular holiday drive-through features more than one million twinkling lights and one of the tallest tree displays in the state! Hours: 5 to 9:30 p.m. Cars, $5. Remember to bring canned goods for local food banks.
and daily, noon to 5 p.m.: The 17th Annual Gingerbread House Contest & Show at Darnall’s Chance House Museum in Upper Marlboro. Visitors have the opportunity to vote for their favorite entries — each winning entry will receive $200. Admission: $1. Info: 301952-8010.
Holiday Performances at National Harbor at 1 p.m. You can also admire the 60’ Christmas tree, decorated with 20,000 lights.
Free healthy holiday cooking demonstrations at the Sports & Learning Complex, 8001 Sheriff Rd., in Landover. Enjoy samples, take home new recipes and learn to prepare delicious meals for your loved ones this Christmas season. No registration required. Hours: 7 to 8 p.m. Info: 301-5832400.
The 15th annual Victorian Christmas at the Dr. Samuel A. Mudd House in Waldorf, decorated as it would have been in the Victorian period. Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus, Civil War encampment, music, refreshments and a walking tour of the House. Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission: $8 for adults and $2 for children. Info: 301-274-9358.
Day of Prayer at Loyola on the Potomac, in Faulkner. The day begins with continental breakfast at 9 and concludes at 3 p.m. Fee: $40. Info: 301392-0800 or www.loyolaonthepotomac.com.
The Surratt House, in Clinton, invites you to enjoy Christmas past with the display of period decorations, exhibits, tours and treats. Admission. Wed.-Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sat & Sun, noon to 4 p.m. Info: 301-868-1121.
As he opened the town meeting on Nov. 15, Morningside Mayor Benn Cann apologized for not shaving. He’s participating in No-Shave November. The goal is to grow awareness by “embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose.” Money spent on shaving and grooming should be used for cancer prevention education and men’s health issues.
Shhh! Santa will be showing up at Morningside’s Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 10 (but he’ll really be Oscar Portillo).
Cpl. Conrad D’Haiti, Skyline’s first C.O.P.S. officer some years ago, is retiring from the county police at the end of the year. He dropped by the Skyline Citizens’ meeting Nov. 16 at the firehouse, to say goodbye. Among his recent activities was taking Police Explorers to Arizona National Park. He was given an award as a distinguished advisor for the Explorers.
Morningside Mayor Cann will graduate Dec. 12 from the Citizens Police Academy at Prince George’s Community College. The academy is a 12week program that features all sorts of police activities.
I have enjoyed having daughter Therese Gallegos visiting the past several weeks. I finally saw her off Nov. 17, headed for a visit with former classmate Cecelia DuMais and her husband Jim Rohan in West Virginia before driving to West Chester, Ohio, to spend a week with my daughter Kathleen Shearer, before heading home to Brownsville, Texas.
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III (D) delivered remarks at the groundbreaking of the new state-of-the-art Oxon Hill Fire/ EMS Station, at 6500 Clipper Way, on Nov. 7. The station will be about 1 mile from Oxon Hill Fire/EMS station No. 821 and about 2 miles from Oxon Hill Fire/EMS station No. 842. Officials hope for completion by December 2017.
For the first time in its 65year history, the Miss World pageant is coming to the U. S. — to the Gaylord at National Harbor. Contestants from 140 countries will compete. The grand finale will be on Dec. 18.
I make frequent trips into Washington, and for three years I’ve seen the Capitol shrouded in scaffolding. On Oct. 27 the last of the scaffolding was removed. Among the repairs, 14 layers of paint (including some of the very first coat) were removed and the surface repainted with 1,215 gallons of paint in three layers. The top coat color is “Dome White.”
Did you know that the Capitol dome is the tallest cast-iron dome in the world? And it looks wonderful.
Suitland Memories: 1950
On Nov. 17, 1950, the Suitland Improvement Association was incorporated by the State Tax Commission and later changed its name to The Suitland Citizens Association. By 2002, this community organization revamped its name yet again and became the Suitland Civic Association, with meetings at the new water tower on Suitland Road.
Noted inventor dies in Oxon Hill fire
George Nauflett, 84, a renowned African-American chemist and inventor, died in a fire at his Oxon Hill home on Oct. 28. He and his wife attempted to escape together; she escaped but he didn’t make it out.
He was born in the segregated South and left school after eighth grade, but he was able to get his GED, join the Air Force, graduate from Tougaloo College in Jackson, Miss., and go on to Howard University for graduate school.
He worked 42 years in a Navy lab where he received more than two dozen patents for his inventions. His work was featured in “The Inventive Spirit of African-Americans: Patented Ingenuity.”
He met his wife Minnie when they were teenagers in Mississippi and they married in 1964.
They had three children; sadly, one son died in a car accident in 1984.
One of the last things George and Minnie did together was to vote early in the presidential election.
Happy birthday to Darryl Moss, Nov. 26; Arthur Rose, Nov. 27; Thomas Shipman, Sr., Nov. 28; Devin Kane Blade, Nov. 29; Karen Windsor, Alexis R. Paige and Ramona Britt, Nov. 30; Mary Doyle, Susan McKay and Jon Foster, Dec. 1.
Happy anniversary to Gary and Ivy Kline on Nov. 28.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers!