In and Around Morningside-Skyline 
by Mary McHale 301-735-3451

Festival of Lights, Christmas past, gingerbread houses and more holiday events

Nov. 25-Jan. 1: 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.

Nov. 25-27, Dec. 2–4, Dec. 9–11, 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: 301-952-8010.

Nov. 26: Holiday Performances at National Harbor at 1 p.m. You can also admire the 60’ Christmas tree, decorated with 20,000 lights.

Dec. 1: 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: 301-583-2400.

Dec. 3–4: 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.

Dec. 5: 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: 301-392-0800 or

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.

No-Shave November

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 12-week 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,

Changing landscape

County Executive Baker 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 one mile from Oxon Hill Fire/EMS station No. 821 and about two miles from Oxon Hill Fire/EMS station No. 842. Officials hope for completion by December 2017.

For the first time in its 65-year 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 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 8th 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!

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by Audrey Johnson 301 888 2153  


The Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Southern Area Aquatics and Recreation Complex was held at the Brandywine Volunteer Fire Department Monday, November 14, 2016 at 10:30 AM. The 77,030 square feet facility will be located on 65 acre parcel owned by

M-NCPPC known as Brandywine Area Park in Brandywine, Maryland along Missouri Avenue. More information to follow in my next article.


Join us as we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Winter Festival of Lights in Prince George’s County, Friday, November 25, 2016 through Sunday, January 1, 2017 from 5:00 PM–9:30 PM nightly. This spectacular holiday drive-through event features more than one million twinkling lights, wonderful themed displays, and one of the tallest tree displays in the state. Make a difference this season and bring canned goods for donation to local food banks.

New fees for 2016 are $10/car or mini-van, $15 multi-visit, transferable ticket booklet for cars and Vans (3 visits). $20/min-bus (seats 13 to 24) or limo, $30/bus (seat 25 or more) no reservations required. Free on December 5, Community Service Providers Appreciation Night. Free on December 25. Sorry, cash only, checks and credit cards not accepted.

Visit the website at or call 301-699-2456; TTY 301-699-2544 for information.


Westphalia United Methodist Church Annual Christmas Concert will be Saturday December 17th at 6:00 PM. Rev. Dr. Timothy West is the Senior Pastor. Church address is 9363 D’Arcy Road, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20774.


Please join other crafters by participating in our Christmas Craft & Vendor Fair Saturday, December 3, 2016 from 8:30 AM–2:30 PM. (crafters/vendor set-ups 5:30 PM–7:30 PM, Friday December 2nd 7:00 AM-8:30 AM. Saturday, December 3rd). To reserve your space or get more information please e-mail: or call 301-627-0028. Limited number of tables for rent or bring your own table.

Fair will be at the Family Life Center/New Hope Fellowship-Nottingham Myers United Methodist Church. The address is 15601 Brooks Church Road, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772.


Participate in year round sports for wellness and health opportunities. Programs offered are adapted sports, league play and many more. Activities include Ice skating, baseball, soccer, track and field, volleyball and many more activities. Contact or 301-699-2255, TTY 301-699-2544 for more information.


Join us Saturday, December 3, 2016 for St. Philip’s Annual Prayer Breakfast at 9:00 AM. Guest Speaker will be Pastor Kermit C. C. Moore. Admission is $10 Adults and $5 for children 10 & under. The Prayer Breakfast will be at St. Philip’s Church-Baden Parish.

The address is 13801 Baden Westwood Road, Brandywine, Maryland 20613. Telephone number is (301) 888-1536.


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