The joys of fall are many.

Trees bursting with color, followed bydried, shriveled leaves blowing everywhere. Kamikaze acorns assaulting any brave soul who ventures three steps out the door. The gleeful sounds of kids jumping into piles of freshly raked leaves -- and their anguished cries when you ask them to help you rake.

Shopping for pumpkins and apples at Schramm's and visiting the giant pumpkin for a special treat. A motley assortment of rakes, leaf blowers, lawn mowers and orange leaf bags decorating the yard.

Negotiating sessions with your offspring about this year's Halloween costume.

And finally getting it altogether for Thanksgiving, when somedear friend reminds you that there are only 30 shopping days left until Christmas.

Now there's some news I really needed to hear. I'vegot to get a life.


Need to get into the Halloween mood? Would a few ghosts, monsters or goblins help?

You won't have to traveltoo far from home to find some good, old fashioned scary fun at several events in the Pasadena area.

One of the biggest is the annual Halloween Haunted Trail and Castle at Downs Park, open from 7 to 9 tonight and tomorrow evening.

Dress comfortably and prepare for a wait in line, but you will be rewarded with a delightfully scary time.

For the younger set, there is a lighted friendly ghost area at theplayground, with face painting available for an additional fee.

Admission tickets are $1 each and can be purchased at the park.

Just a reminder: no costumes, no touching the monsters and children mustbe accompanied by an adult.

At 2 p.m. Sunday, the park is sponsoring its annual Halloween Costume Contest for children. Prizes will beawarded in several categories, including most unusual, scariest, spookiest, and ugliest.

Need more details? Call the park at 222-6230.

* The Armiger Volunteer Fire Company has spooked up the old GreenHaven Volunteer Fire Company building on Outing Avenue for a Halloween haunted house. Visit with your favorite monsters from 7 to 11 p.m.nightly through Thursday.

Tickets are $4 for adults and $2.50 foryoungsters.

* Step out for an evening of dancing, games, prizes and adult Halloween fun at the Riviera Community Improvement Association's first annual Halloween Dance, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. tomorrow at St. Jane Frances Hall on St. Jane Drive.

Tickets are $7.50 in advance, $10 at the door, and include beer and set-ups. Music will be provided by Moonshine.

A costume contest with a $100 prize for best overall costume is planned.

To get tickets, call Rick Feehley at 437-0672.

* The Riviera Beach Library is the site for a special Halloween Happening for children ages 2 to 6 at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Kids should show up in costume and be ready for a special spooky story time.

* The Aspen Park Homeowners Association is sponsoring its annual community Halloween Costume Contest at 7 p.m. Thursday on Shady Nook Court.

"We are asking the neighbors in Aspen Park to turn on their outside lights on Halloween between 5:30 and 8 p.m., to let the children know were they can visit," spokesman Ken Hess said. "While thekids are out trick-or-treating that evening, we hope that they will stop by and enter our contest."

Prizes will be awarded for the scariest, cutest and most original costumes. Treats will be given to allcontest participants (parents, too).

Everyone attending is encouraged to bring a canned food item to add to the community food drive for the benefit of the North County Emergency Outreach Center (NCEON).

* The Student Activity Committee at St. Jane Frances School is sponsoring a pumpkin decorating contest Wednesday.

Ribbons for the scariest, funniest, prettiest, most colorful and most creative costumes will be awarded Thursday.


Northeast High School will close out Red Ribbon Week activities with a special assembly at 8:15 a.m. Monday.

Former Maryland State Trooper Vonzell Ward will be the guest speaker.

PTSA President Carlene Heilman says winners of the art department Red Ribbon Poster contest will be announced and prizes will be awarded.


The YMCA announces openings in its continuing fitness programs at several locations in the Pasadena area. The eight-week sessions will start next week.

Three different programs are offered: Shape-up/Tone, Tone and Aerobics in Motion.

The one-hour Shape-up/Tone class, offering aerobics and floorwork, will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays at George Fox Middle School, at 7:30p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at Bodkin Elementary and Jacobsville Elementary schools and at 8 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays at Lake Shore Elementary.

Thirty-minute floorwork Tone classes will meet at 7:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at Bodkin Elementary, George Fox Middle andJacobsville Elementary.

Aerobics in Motion classes, a one-hour workout of dance exercise and floorwork, will meet at 6:30 p.m. Mondaysand Wednesdays at Bodkin Elementary.

Fees vary, with discounts available to YMCA members. A special drop-in rate is available.

For more details, call the Severna Park YMCA at 647-3800.


Parentsof students at Fort Smallwood and Jacobsville elementary schools areinvited to attend the second in a series of mini-sessions offered bycounselor Carolyn Keenen on Wednesday.

This session's topic will be testing readiness for the MSPAP. Again this spring, all third- andfifth-grade students in the state will be taking these tests.

If you would like to attend, give her a call at 255-1394.


The Stoney Creek Democratic Club is sponsoring a gigantic indoor Flea Market from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 2 at its clubhouse on Fort Smallwood Road. Tables can be rented for $9 each.

Contact Rich Ames at 437-9388for more details.


Attention walkers and joggers in the Pasadena area: Tired of trying to get your daily exercise while staring atheadlights or dodging cars?

With the return to Eastern Standard Time this weekend, roads and sidewalks will be a little too dark for your 6 p.m. stroll, but there is an alternative.

The Department of Recreation and Parks invites you to walk or jog on the lighted track at Northeast High School on Duvall Highway from 6 to 8 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The best part of the whole program is it'sfree; just register with the attendant on duty.

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