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Bingo night to support school playground fund

Manchester Elementary School's Playground Fund Committee will hold a bingo night at Lineboro Vol. Fire Co., at 4224 East Main St., Lineboro, Saturday, Oct. 3.

Prizes will include items from Pandora and Vera Bradley, among other brands. The evening will also include raffles, special games and a 50/50 drawing. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and bingo starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $18 if purchased in advance or $20 at the door. Food will be available for purchase beginning at 5:30 p.m.

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Committee member and event chair Mindy Lankford said all proceeds from ticket and food sales will support the playground fund. The fund will be used to rebuild two existing playgrounds — one for kindergarten/pre-K, the other for students in grades first through fifth grade — and create the first sensory garden in the county school system at the school, located at 3224 York St., Manchester. Sensory gardens use plants and other design elements to stimulate garden visitors' senses.

For more information or to buy tickets, call Mindy Lankford at 443-250-9847.

Walk Carroll kicks off indoor groups

Walk Carroll will begin a seasonal, indoor walking program at North Carroll Senior and Community Center, 2328 Hanover Pike, Greenmount, on Monday, Oct. 5. The group will walk at 10 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, using a ¼-mile loop through the center's hallways.

The group is open to ages 60 and older. Pre-registration is not required; walkers can sign up for the program when they arrive at the senior center. There is no fee for this group. A representative from The Partnership for a Healthier Carroll County will be at the senior center on kick-off day. Walk Carroll is a program of The Partnership.

The senior center group is in its first year, said group coordinator Cathy Mitzel. The group started walking at Hampstead-area parks this past spring, but "with cold weather coming," Mitzel said, "we wanted to find someplace indoors to walk."

Mitzel also worked with Gregg Newman, owner of Four Seasons Sports Complex, to create a Walk Carroll program for all ages at the facility at 2710 Hampstead-Mexico Road, Hampstead. This group begins at 9 a.m. Oct. 5. Participants will walk in a heated, indoor soccer court. There is a monthly fee of $10 for this group, payable to Four Seasons.

For more information on either program, call Cathy Mitzel at 410-374-8777.

Hampstead Vol. Fire Co. hosts first Fall Festival

Hampstead Vol. Fire Co. will hold its first Fall Festival on the carnival grounds next to the firehouse at 1341 N. Main St., Hampstead, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat., Oct. 10.

There is no cost for admission to the festival, and some attractions — like the kids' zone and hayrides — are free. There will be fees for a few of the activities such as pumpkin painting and scarecrow making, said Eddie Saylor, festival chair. The festival will offer hayrides, a 60-foot obstacle course, games, and other activities for children and adults. Saylor said the event will have "a little bit of everything."

A shuttle bus will run between North Carroll High School and the festival, similar to the shuttle service the fire company runs for its summer carnival, Saylor said.

The fire company will sell food at the event, including pit beef and ham, hamburgers and hot dogs, chicken tenders, french fries, drinks and funnel cakes. Proceeds from food sales will benefit the fire company.

The festival will also have vendors selling a broad range of items. More than 60 vendors have registered, Saylor said, including some from Pennsylvania, Frederick, and Maryland's Eastern Shore. Vendor cost is $35 for a 10-foot by 20-foot space. Vendor applications close Oct. 7. Interested vendors can find the application under the "Events" tab on the fire company website at www.hampsteadvfd.org.

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Saylor said the idea behind the event is "just to have a good time with the community — bring something fun to Hampstead …[and] have the community together again before winter gets here."

BBQ Equipment Store, of Hampstead, is hosting the festival's amateur barbecue competition. Leah Rogers, who co-owns the store with her husband, Steve, said the competition is "only open to backyard grillers."

The deadline to register for the competition is Mon., Oct. 5. Teams can register and pay the $80 entry fee online at the BBQ Equipment Store website. Teams can also choose to enter the bonus "Chef's Choice" competition category for an additional $10 registration fee. To register, go to www.bbqequipmentstore.com and enter "Fall Fest" in the search field, or use the link in the Fall Festival event page on www.hampsteadvfd.org. Twenty dollars of the competition entry fee and all of the additional $15 electricity fee will go to the fire company.

Leah said they are hoping for 12 to 15 teams by festival day, she said.

The Rogers' store team competes in the annual Kansas City BBQ Society cook-off for professionals but they wanted to do something local for amateurs, she said.

"With no Hampstead Day on Main Street [next year], we wanted to help out the fire department. [This is] our way of helping out businesses on Main Street," she said.

The 2016 Hampstead Day will be held at the Arcadia Vol. Fire Co. carnival grounds, in Upperco, due to Hampstead's ongoing Main Street revitalization project.

For more information about the festival, including vendor opportunities, call Saylor at 240-832-2921. For details about the barbecue competition, call Steve and Leah Rogers at BBQ Equipment Store: 888-977-4227.

Donna Mortensen covers Hampstead, Manchester, Lineboro and neighboring communities in northern Carroll County.

She can be reached at DonnaNeighborhoods@gmail.com or 443-547-6507.

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