The Belair Mansion, built circa 1745, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was the home of Governor Samuel Ogle and his wife, Anne Tasker Ogle. The mansion grounds also hold the famous Belair Stud Stables, home to two Triple Crown winners.
Sunday evening, however, everyone was there to see just one famous person, the big man himself, Santa Claus. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived by fire truck with sirens blasting. The children, young and old, rushed over to greet Santa and the Mrs. as they were lowered to the ground by the cherry-picker in which they were riding.
Mr. and Mrs. Claus were welcomed by Mayor Fred G. Robinson, Senator Douglas J. Peters, as well as other local dignitaries. While waiting for Santa to arrive, the crowd, happy and giddy-faced, congregated together to sing Christmas carols. There was also the official lighting of the tree.
Once Santa arrived everyone followed him inside. The interior of Belair Mansion was beautifully decorated for Christmas, each room done to the style of holiday traditions from throughout the homes 250 years of history.
The dining room table was fully set for a delicious dinner party while the whole house was filled with lovely music from the parlor. The musicians, dressed in period clothing, told stories and played songs from the days of yore. Traditional cider was served in the kitchen.
According to the children though, the best room was Santa’s room. Mr. Claus sat in a large, red chair with Mrs. Claus by his side. They posed for pictures and handed out goody bags as they greeted all the children.
A wonderful time was had by all, perhaps even the Mansion itself. It was full of people, laughter and music, the way it was always meant to be.