Paramedics, portable toilets, and purchases of neon pink caps to outfit visitor assistance volunteers are a few of the many preparations made by South Carroll High's Band Boosters for the Chapter XIII Championship at the school on Nov. 6.
Twenty-three high school bands from Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania will come to Winfield to participate in the Tournament of Bands.
The rain-or-shine event is a highlight of the fall marching season, in which bands vie for a limited number of invitations to participate in the Atlantic Coast Championships in Scranton, Pa., the next weekend.
"We're looking at a crowd of between 4,500 and 5,000," said site services coordinator Les Mariner. "The challenge is making sure we can park all the buses and get everyone in and out safely."
The event begins at 2:45 p.m. with a opening ceremony, followed by half-time shows performed by the high school bands at 15-minute intervals. Bands perform in four categories based on the number of instrumentalists with the smaller bands in Group I and II leading the contest. Group III and IV performances begin at 7 p.m.
"They put their names in a hat and march in the order they are drawn, except for last year's winners, who are automatically last," said publicity chairman Dianna Hall. "There will be a one-hour intermission after the Group I and II awards."
This will be the first time South Carroll High School has been host to a Chapter XIII Championship, said Pat Reisner, president of the Band Boosters. An application for the event, made last March, included a presentation of maps and five typed pages that detailed how the band parent group would conduct it, she said.
"We're hoping it's a tremendous source of income," said Mrs. Reisner. "Our budget is $48,000, and none of that comes from the county. This is a way of getting money . . . and the kids do not have to sell."
Seventeen committee chairmen, assisted by at least 65 volunteers, are working to make the event a success, said Mrs. Reisner. Monthly planning meetings began last March, and weekly sessions have been held since August.
"We had to think about all the things that could possibly go wrong and how we would handle them," she said.
Solutions to possible problems include expanded seating, two sign language interpreters, an ambulance, abundant supplies of food and candy, generators to ensure adequate field lighting, 20 sets of walkie-talkies, and a rain date of Nov. 7 in case lightning halts the tournament.
Although anticipating problems was an important part of the planning process, the focus of the planners is on positive aspects of the tournament.
"I'm really excited about it -- it's a tremendous challenge," said Mrs. Reisner. "It is an excellent show. The people in the county have the opportunity to take a short drive to see all five county high schools perform, in addition to the nearby Frederick County schools."
TC Tickets, which may be purchased in advance or at the event, are $7 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens. For ticket information, call (410) 875-2750. South Carroll High School is located at 1300 W. Old Liberty Road (Route 26) in Winfield.
Hordes of children will gather at Mount Airy's historic Train Station on Saturday morning for Mount Airy's annual Halloween Parade and Costume Contest.
Co-sponsored by the Mount Airy Area Jaycees and the Mount Airy Lions Club, the free, fun-filled activity tomorrow begins with registration at 9 a.m. at the train station on Main Street. Costumed characters from infants to 12-year-olds will be registered and judged in five age categories.
The 9:30 a.m. parade will begin at the registration site and continue south on Main Street to Mount Airy's municipal parking lot on Park Avenue. The costume contest, held on the town lot, will follow the parade.
Afterward, participants will separate into five age groups. Teams of Jaycees and Lions judges will review each group's participants and select the winners.
The contest offers many opportunities to win, with first- through fourth-place ribbons to be awarded in the following five categories: cutest or funniest, unusual or unique, scariest or ugliest, Most Halloween Spirit and Judges' Choice.
The top prize of the event -- the Mayor's Choice Trophy -- will be awarded by Gerald Johnson, Mount Airy's chief executive.
First-place winners in the five categories will receive a Susan B. Anthony dollar in addition to their first-place ribbons. All participants will receive a bag of candy from the local Jaycees and the Lions.
For more information, call (301) 865-4865.
More "spook-tacular" fun will be offered to children in the community at Woodbine Recreation Council's Annual Halloween Party at 1 p.m tomorrow.
The event will be held at Salt Box Park on Gillis Road between Mount Airy and Woodbine. Children are asked to register at the park prior to the event. The registration fee is $1 a child.
Activities at the party will include a parade around the ball field with ribbons awarded to participants, face painting, an old-fashioned hay ride and kid-pleasing refreshments served by Brownie Troop 279. A Haunted House created by South Carroll High School's Key Club will be featured.
Information: (410) 795-3332.
Several programs of interest to senior citizens have been planned for early next month at the Mount Airy Senior Center, 705 Ridge Ave.
A talk on "The Grieving Process" will be presented by Dr. Richard Krebs Nov. 4, at 12:30 p.m. Dr. Krebs is a psychologist who practices in the Westminster area. This program is free and open to the public.
"Creating Flower Arrangements" will be the focus at the Senior Center Nov. 5, when the Mount Airy Garden Club meets at 10:30 a.m. That program will be a "hands-on" activity, with Garden Club members making flower arrangements with senior participants. Advance registration is required, but the program is free to senior citizens. To register, call Debbie Schleich at (301) 829-2407.
The spirit of Halloween will continue at the Senior Center next month, thanks to the staff at the Mount Airy Library. A free Halloween program will be presented to the seniors at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 8.