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Highlights Include Dancing Reindeer, Marching Elves, Santa and Mrs. Claus 

Baltimore County's annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony will take place on Friday, November 30 at 6 p.m. It will be held in the downtown Towson shopping district at Olympian Park, located at the corner of Allegheny Avenue and the traffic circle. This year’s festivities will feature Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving on a fire truck, free hot chocolate and cookies, and holiday musical performances by the Perry Hall Middle School Panthers, the Anna Appicella School of Dance and the Gold Starz Marching Band.

The annual event is co-hosted by Baltimore County and the Towson Chamber of Commerce. County Executive Don Mohler and County Executive-Elect John Olszewski, Jr. will participate in the event. The official lighting of the Baltimore County Christmas tree will take place at approximately 6:22 p.m.

Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus

Immediately following the tree lighting, the Towson Chamber of Commerce will host free visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus as well as holiday musical performances. Parents should bring their own cameras if they'd like photos of their children with Santa.

Temporary Road Closures and Free Parking

To accommodate the event, Allegheny Avenue will be closed to traffic from Washington Avenue to the traffic circle from 4:30 p.m. until approximately 8:30 p.m. that evening.

Mid-Atlantic Properties will offer free parking from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at their parking garage located at 111 Allegheny Avenue.

Thank You to Event Sponsors

The event is organized by the Towson Chamber of Commerce, Inc. and Baltimore County Government as part of Winterfest 2018. Sponsors include 101.9 Lite FM, Mid-Atlantic Properties, Zerodraft, Wells Fargo Advisors Jim and Gretchen Pomfret, Towson Lifestyle Magazine and Towson Town Center. Free refreshments will be provided by Charles Village Pub, Sheraton Baltimore North Hotel, Palisades of Towson and the Towson Chamber of Commerce. 

A Season of Celebrations in Towson

The Christmas tree lighting kicks off the Towson Chamber of Commerce’s Winterfest 2018 – a series of holiday-themed events that serves as an open invitation for families to visit restaurants and shops while seeing the new development in the downtown Towson business district. Members of the community are encouraged to enjoy an array of events including a Fire and Ice family night with ice sculptures and decorated Christmas trees, ugly sweater happy hours, breakfasts with iconic Christmas characters and events at Towson Town Center.

More information about Towson’s Winterfest 2018, a month-long series of holiday events, is on the Towson Chamber of Commerce’s website.

Free Parking in Downtown Towson for the Holidays

Baltimore County is offering shoppers two hours of free parking at all meters from Friday December 21 through Christmas Day in shopping districts around the County. Red “Seasons Greetings Free Parking” meter bags will be placed over the meters on the designated days.


New Urban Park Offers Engaging Public Open Space

Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler and a crowd of Towson supporters braved the wintry weather this morning to celebrate the completion of renovations to Patriot Plaza, which created a new urban park that brings more green space to downtown Towson. The plaza is located between the Historic Courthouse and Circuit Courthouse buildings.

The $5.5 million renovation project removed nearly two acres of impervious concrete and an inoperable fountain from the existing plaza, replacing it with 1.8 acres of attractive green space with new pavers, sidewalks, seating walls, lighting and furnishings. The new park better showcases the existing memorials dedicated to fallen Baltimore County police officers and fire fighters.

“Towson is evolving into a vibrant 21st century urban center and this transformed Patriot Plaza brings a modern and elegant, but also warm and inviting setting to downtown Towson,” Mohler said. “We thank our community and civic leaders who gave helpful feedback that contributed to this design.”

The Kamenetz administration sought input on the design from representatives of the Towson Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations (GTCCA), the Greater Towson Committee and the fire and police unions and memorial associations. The design was developed by Rubeling & Associates, a Towson architectural firm. The general contractor is Northpoint Builders and the civil engineering firm is JMT.

“The new park looks absolutely spectacular and we’re thankful that County Executive Kamenetz committed to this project and County Executive Mohler brought it to completion,” said Nancy Hafford, Executive Director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce. “We’re hoping that next year we’ll be able to host a number of great events in and around this wonderful new public open space.”

Mohler unveiled a commemorative plaque in honor of former County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, who passed away in May of this year. “County Executive Kamenetz completely reimagined this plaza to expand the welcoming green feeling from the Courthouse Gardens into the plaza and make it a place where people would want to walk and relax, rather than just hurrying through,” he said.


New Urban Park Coming to Towson Courthouses Next Summer

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz smashed through the concrete surface of the existing Patriot Plaza this morning, officially starting construction of a new urban park that brings more green open space to the people who live and work in, or visit, downtown Towson.

A crowd of Towson supporters, including Councilmen Julian Jones and David Marks, Delegate Steve Lafferty, Towson Chamber of Commerce Director Nancy Hafford and County officials, looked on as the County Executive operated a hydraulic hammer on a large backhoe to take out a section of the stone fountain in the plaza’s center.  

The $5.5 million renovation project will remove nearly two acres of impervious concrete from the existing plaza, between the Historic Courthouse and Circuit Courthouse buildings and replace it with 1.8 acres of attractive green space with new pavers, sidewalks, seating walls, lighting and furnishings. The park will better showcase the existing memorials dedicated to fallen police and fire fighters.

“Towson is evolving into more of a 21st century vibrant urban center and beautiful public spaces are an important element in offering that lifestyle for people,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “Our courthouse gardens have long offered a convenient place to take a break and enjoy nature, right in the heart of downtown Towson, and this new green space on the opposite side of the Historic Courthouse will offer a welcoming venue for people to gather during the week and for special events. We thank our community and civic leaders who gave helpful feedback that contributed to this design.”

The new green space will replace an impervious concrete and paver courtyard centered by a fountain that has not functioned for several years.  Leaks in the fountain’s infrastructure require immediate reconstruction of a significant portion of the plaza. Repairs must take place on a tight time frame to avoid additional costly damage to office spaces and technology systems located below the plaza.

The County consulted with the Towson Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations (GTCCA) and representatives of the fire and police unions and memorial associations to gather input on the design. The design was developed by Rubeling & Associates, a Towson architectural firm. The general contractor is Northpoint Builders and the civil engineering firm is JMT.

“This will be a welcome transformation and a complement to some of the other “green” efforts in town,” said Nancy Hafford, Executive Director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce. “This beautiful new space will expand the possibilities for great public events and gatherings.”

“I was pleased to be asked for my input on the park design, and I think the final result will be very attractive with the dramatic shift from hardscaping to green space,” said Paul Hartman, a member of the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations.

"The improvements to Patriot Plaza will make the Baltimore County Police Memorial more visible and accessible, while ensuring that the monument continues to provide a solemn tribute to officers who made the ultimate sacrifice," said retired Colonel Dennis Robinson, Chair of the Baltimore County Police Memorial Fund. “I want to thank the County Executive and his team for their thoughtful consideration of our recommendations.”

Retired Fire Chief Elwood Banister added, “Anything that we can do to educate more people about our tribute to our fallen fire fighters is greatly appreciated. I find this new design very respectful of our monument.”

Funds for the $5.5 million project were approved by the County Council in the FY2017 operating budget. The new green plaza is expected to be completed in June 2018.

Baltimore County has spent more than $57 million on open space and recreational projects since 2010. “We are committed to enhancing the quality of life in our County by providing attractive open space and community gathering places,” concluded Kamenetz. 

  


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017