HALLOWEEN IS only one day on the calendar, but the celebration in our area lasts a good week. It began Sunday night with the sixth annual Pumpkin Night sponsored by the Crofton Civic Association.
The event drew hundreds of children to Hardy Field for a spooky storytelling session, marshmallows, Halloween goody bags and a big bonfire.
Carved pumpkins, from the traditional to the unusual, were the featured attraction. In the carving contest, Brittany Squillari's pumpkin won first place in the "funniest" category. Tyler Schultz's classic cut pumpkin was truly the "scariest." Pat Hill created a fanciful Mickey Mouse in the pumpkin judged "most original."
Mark Downing, Bowie-Crofton Jaycees president, enjoyed his second year as a pumpkin judge. And he is warming up his throwing arm for distributing candy at Saturday's Halloween parade down Crofton Parkway.
Downing said he is always awed by the sight of hundreds of laughing and cheering children lined up along the sidewalk.
The 23rd annual Halloween Parade, sponsored by the Crofton Kiwanis, will begin at 11 a.m. Musical and marching groups will form at Crofton Woods Elementary School and proceed down Crofton Parkway to Crofton Elementary School.
Children in costume are invited to join the parade when it passes Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church, where they can register for the costume judging contest. Prizes will be awarded for the ugliest or weirdest, most creative, best traditional, the cutest and the best group costumes.
Military women's memorial
Dr. Annette Wiechert, director of the Women in Military Service Memorial, will discuss the memorial's history at tomorrow's meeting of the Crofton Kiwanis Club. All women in the area who have been involved in military service are invited to attend. The meeting is set for 7: 30 p.m. at the Waldorf Country Club.
Information: Marnie Fallon, 410-451-3998.
VESTA training program
The Anne Arundel chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and VESTA, a not-for-profit corporation working with the mentally ill, are teaming up to produce a training program for families with a member who is mentally ill.
The 12-week program will be taught by families who have been dealing with such issues as understanding various kinds of illnesses, medicines and coping with problems.
The sessions will be 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., beginning today at the VESTA offices, 1201 Annapolis Road, Suite S in Odenton. No fee is charged for the program.
Information: Mary Catten, 410-672-2862.
The Liturgy of the Word for Children program for ages 4 to 7 is expanding at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Crofton.
Each week, during the 11 a.m. Mass, children have been invited to a special room for music and a discussion of the Sunday readings. The program is expanding to the 9: 30 a.m. service each week as well, beginning Sunday.
Volunteers are welcome to take part in the children's liturgy. Information: Liz Woratyla, 410-451-1428.