Children's puppet shows planned for Election Day COLUMBIA WEST


Those of us over 40 remember Kukla, Fran and Ollie, or Howdy Doody, Mr. Bluster and that incredibly strange creature known as Flubadub, and we laughed at the endless arguments and fights between Punch and Judy.

All kids love puppet shows. Unfortunately, such shows have nearly become a thing of the past, replaced by endless, often mindless, cartoon shows on television.

Only the late Jim Henson's Muppet characters retain some of that old puppet magic, but even they must depend on high-tech television techniques.

If you want to reminisce a little, and treat your children to an excellent live puppet show, Slayton House in Wilde Lake Village will offer a one-day presentation of Sleeping Beauty performed by the Vagabond Puppet Theatre. They are the largest touring marionette theater group in the United States.

There will be two performances on Tuesday, Election Day, one at 10 a.m. and another at 1:30 p.m.

Each show is 45 minutes long and will be followed by a demonstration of the art of puppetry and a question-and-answer session with the puppet masters.

Tickets are $3, and pre-registration is required. For tickets and additional information, call 730-3987.

Don't miss this one. It promises to be lots of fun for all.


Halloween is near, and every year we worry about our children's safety. However, there are a lot of safe things for the little ones to do:

* The Town Center Halloween Party, for kids 3-10, at Oakland Manor, Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Call 730-4744 to register.

* The Harper's Choice Halloween Happening, for kids 3-8, at Kahler Hall, Thursday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Call 730-3888 to register.

* The Wilde Lake Annual Halloween Party, for preschoolers to fourth-graders, at Slayton House, Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Call 730-3987 to register.

* The Dorsey Search Halloween Party, for all kids, at Linden Hall, Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Call 730-4005 to register.

* The Hickory Ridge Halloween Party, featuring the John Taylor puppets, for kids 2-10, at Hickory Ridge Village Center, on Freetown Road, Saturday from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Call 730-7327 to register.

* The Howard County Central Library will offer a selection of spooky Halloween stories for kids 6-9, from 4:15 p.m. to 5 p.m., tonight and tomorrow night.

Those interested in learning watercolor art should attend the classes offered by local artist and art instructor Carolyn Hartman.

The four-week course, to be held at Slayton House in Wilde Lake, is scheduled for Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., beginning Nov. 11.

The fee is $45. Materials are not included. Call 730-3987 for registration and information.

Recent crimes in Columbia and surrounding communities have made headline news. They have also heightened concerns for the safety of our home and family members.

In response to those concerns, the Howard County Police Department, and several private organizations are offering seminars on personal safety, home security and self defense.

The best way to avoid becoming a victim of crime is to take appropriate precautions. These seminars offer a chance to learn what you should do and how to do it.

* Tonight at 8 p.m., at Oakland Manor, 5430 Vantage Point Road, the Town Center Village Association will present Howard County police Officer Tara Ball, who will offer tips on home security and discuss how to form a neighborhood watch program. For additional information, call 730-4744.

* Tomorrow morning, at 10:30 a.m. in the Florence Bain Center, on Beaverkill Road in Harper's Choice, Howard County police Officer Karen Shinman will offer safety and crime-prevention tips.

To register, call 313-7213.

* Sharon Sirkis of Have Blackbelt Will Travel will teach interactive seminars called "Defense Maneuvers: Self Defense for Women." They are presented by Howard County General Hospital Tuesday and Nov. 10 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Health Care Center. The fee is $45. To register, or for additional information, call 740-7600.

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