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Towne Salute: Linda Seemans of Christmas in St. Michaels

Nov 28, 2016 04:43PM ● By Becca Newell
By Becca Newell

For more than 25 years, Linda Seemans has been involved with some facet of Christmas in St. Michaels — a weekend-long fundraising event held each December.

The Talbot County native has acquired a slew of chairman titles during her tenure, in which she’s performed almost every type of duty, from ticketing coordinator to parade planner to gala organizer. Currently, she acts as treasurer—a role she recently re-accepted after taking a short break following an eight-year term.

“When you’re treasurer, you’re involved with every event; you interact with every committee,” she says. “That’s why I love it.”

For those who haven’t ventured into “The Town that Fooled the British” to partake in this festive weekend, there’s a lot to be missed: Breakfast with Santa, the Gingerbread House Competition, the Talbot Street Parade, Santa’s Wonderland, a Tour of Homes, and many more family-friendly programs and activities—all of which raise funds to benefit community nonprofits.

“I like the spirit of it. I like that we give back to the Bay Hundred area,” Seemans says, when asked why she’s remained a part of the organization for so long.

Despite its small-town, community-centric roots, Christmas in St. Michaels typically nets about $75,000 annually. Thirty years ago, when the event was established, five applications from nonprofits were submitted. This year, more than 20 applications have been received by the review committee.

The beneficiaries of Christmas in St. Michaels might be different on paper, yet they all work towards a common goal: bettering their community. Mission statements include the promotion of conservation efforts, supporting families in the Bay Hundred area, and advancing cultural, athletic, and educational programs.

“When Christmas in St. Michaels began, it was a group of women that saw a need in a community,” Seemans says. “We still have the same goal, but we’ve grown immensely.”

In addition to treasurer, Seemans signed up to co-chair this year’s Yuletide Party, a newly established event that will replace the annual gala. While the former soiree was a more formal affair with a sit-down dinner, this year’s party will reflect the true tone of Christmas in St. Michaels with a more community-oriented, cocktail party vibe. Chefs from various nearby restaurants will serve up some of their favorite dishes, as guests also enjoy an open bar, a jazz band, a new location—Town Dock—and more. Another difference: the dress code.

“It’s more holiday-casual attire,” Seemans adds.

While she adores the entire weekend of festivities, she’s quick to narrow down the long list of events to a single favorite.

“The parade,” she says, with a smile. “After all the hard work and the anticipation, you just ride through town and realize what it’s all about.”

As she further describes the parade—the sidewalks lined with people cheering; wonderful, friendly faces (both old and new) dotted along the route—it’s obvious this part of the weekend has become a treasured tradition.

“I get very emotional because I really love it,” she says. “I just love what Christmas in St. Michaels does in the community.”

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