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Holiday Brings Out the Dogs in McLean, Horses in Great Falls

A heavy snowfall overnight on Dec. 4-5 didn’t halt holiday celebrations in McLean and Great Falls last weekend.

In Great Falls, horses played roles as camels in the annual horse nativity at the Village Centre.

The play was initiated about 10 years ago by Margaret Johnson, then the owner of the Great Falls Horse Center, who said she thought the Christmas story should have equal time with Santa Claus.

Although the Horse Center closed late last year, the nativity proceeded with several ponies playing roles as camels.

Laura, Michelle, and Sarah Mendelsohn, the wife and daughters of Dranesville Supervisor Stuart Mendelsohn, all played wise men in one of the performances.

Earlier, Santa arrived at Village Centre on a fire truck, where he greeted children and held brief audiences with many of them.

Despite cold temperatures, the snow at the Langley Shopping Center parking lot was cleared by Saturday to allow McLean’s unique Reindog Parade to proceed.

Sponsored by the McLean Chamber of Commerce, it attracts costumed dogs who compete for prizes.

The reindog parade was started by Ellen Field, former executive director of the Chamber, several years ago.

The annual luminaria celebration, which had been scheduled at McLean Central Park on Dec. 6, was cancelled, but the McLean holiday tree was lighted as scheduled on Thursday, Dec. 5.

It is also sponsored by the McLean Chamber of Commerce.

-Beverly Crawford