Strange characters may be lurking in the neighborhood this week. But don't worry, it's probably your friendly neighbor in disguise, heading to one of several local Halloween events.
You may start seeing them Thursday, as 2- to 6-year-olds visit the Linthicum Library for the final Storytime session. Parents, bring your little ones to watch a short film and listen to scary Halloween stories read by library staff. No registration is needed. While there, look at the artwork in the display case, courtesy of 14-year-old Chris Benson.
* On Friday, Ferndale Elementary School Principal Louis Thomas will lead his students in a parade around the school parking lot. Costumed kindergartners will march at 10:45 a.m, all other grades at 2 p.m. Parents are invited. Classroom parties will follow.
* North Glen Elementary invites parents to watch their children, dressed in costumes, parade around its building at 2 p.m.
* George Cromwell Elementary is planning a parade at 1:30 p.m., followed by parties and a sixth-grade Pumpkin Contest. Prizes will be awarded by teacher John Fischer. Parents are welcome.
* St. Philip Neri is planning a parade from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. on the rear parking lot, and parents and relatives are invited. First- through third-graders will gather for a party in the school hall. Classroom parties are planned for fourth- through eighth-graders. Children should bring their costumes to school and change for the parade and party.
* Hilltop Elementary students will parade through their building at 2 p.m. Kindergartners through third-graders should change into their costumes at school. Class parties are planned for each grade.
The school PTA is sponsoring a Halloween Dance from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday in the cafeteria. Hilltop students and their parents are invited to dance, play games and tour the haunted house.
* Overlook Elementary's students will celebrate Halloween with a parade and parties in the classrooms from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Friday
* Kindergarten students at Linthicum Elementary will have a costume party during their regular sessions on Friday. Students and their parents will enjoy a Halloween Family Dance from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Costumes are optional.
The dance is a new event for the school and was initiated by Sharyn Doyle, who took over as principal in September. This parent-student event is part of her plan to "work closely with the PTA to develop more family-oriented activities," she said.
Before coming to Linthicum, Ms. Doyle was principal at Oakwood Elementary. She also taught in several other county elementary schools.
* The Optimist Club of Anne Arundel County is sponsoring a costume party for Linthicum children from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday at Overlook Elementary, 401 Hampton Road. Prizes and ribbons will be awarded, and goody bags and soda given away.
There will be a lot of buying and selling at the Fall Flea Market, set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at North County High School, 415 Andover Road.
Besides tables full of treasures, baked goods and food will be available. To rent a table, call Vickie at 761-3935. Rentals are $13.
The event is sponsored by the Parent-Teacher-Student Association. Proceeds will benefit the school.
The Ferndale Garden Club will have its monthly meeting at 8 p.m. tomorrow at the Ferndale-Linthicum Senior Center.
Members will exchange outdoor bulbs, and Dot Malchester will present a horticulture report. Lucille Killian and Hilda Taylor are the evening's hostesses.
Members also will assemble luminary kits for Christmas. Each kit will contain 10 candles and white paper bags stenciled with Christmas designs. They are available from club members, or they can be ordered by calling Erma Holland at 761-6759.
Orders also will be taken at the club's annual Christmas Show on Nov. 19 at Ferndale Elementary School. To reserve your $3 ticket for this popular show, call Erma at 761-6759.
At 11 a.m. Thursday, the Ferndale Roadrunners will host a Covered Dish Luncheon for members and associate members at the Ferndale-Linthicum Senior Center. Singing and a social will follow.
For further information, please call Pete Scott at 761-0484.
The Notables have a full schedule this week. The entertainment group from the American Association of Retired Persons 3850 are in demand. Today at 1:30 p.m. they will perform at the Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks' Halloween Party, at Our Lady of the Fields Church on Cecil Avenue in Millersville.
At 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, they will entertain residents of the Heartlands Retirement Community, 3004 N. Ridge Road in Ellicott City. They then take their show to the O'Malley Senior Center at 12:30 p.m. Thursday.
For information on these events, call Charles Haslup at 859-1850.