KIDSFEST 2002 is coming soon. The free exposition for families with children, from infants to 18-year-olds, will be held at Historic Savage Mill from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 28.
Organized by the Howard County Department of Citizen Services and the Local Children's Board, the fair will showcase more than 50 area businesses, organizations and agencies that provide programs and services for children.
Any group that serves youths or does anything for children may participate, said KidsFest coordinator Lisa Brusio Coster.
Live performances will begin at 9:30 a.m. and continue throughout the day in the Great Room.
Dean Turner, known as "Turner, Dean of Magic," and his "First Lady of Magic," Martha Wright, are scheduled to perform two shows.
A Columbia resident, Turner has been a professional magician for more than 25 years. Wright, a ballet teacher who helps Turner in her spare time, also will do face-painting and balloon art for children.
Dance Foundations will present four shows that include a "large smattering of different dance techniques," said owner and director Lori Pryor. She teaches ballet, jazz, tap and modern dance at her Columbia studio.
Paradise Events, a festival entertainment company based in Ellicott City, will present two shows for the KidsFest audience.
The first is a concert by River Hill Bluegrass. The duo features Paradise Events owner Jeff Good on guitar and George Osing on banjo.
The second performance is a puppet show for children 10 and younger titled "Wee Won't Smoke." The main character, Harry Hack 'n' Cough, encourages children not to smoke and to lead a healthy life.
"We got a lot of input for the show from the different child care centers in Howard County," Good said. "We performed at four local child care centers to excellent reviews and fabulous feedback from the children and the directors."
Paradise Events also will provide a deluxe baseball-pitching cage and other games on the grounds outside the mill.
And visitors to KidsFest will have a chance to meet the Oriole Bird, McGruff the Crime Dog and a Baltimore Ravens mascot.
"KidsFest is a terrific opportunity to let everyone know that Savage Mill is a fun place for families," said Savage Mill spokeswoman Sue Emerson. "Exploring the mill is a great way to spend a family day."
Paint a wall
Pupils from Lime Kiln Middle School in Fulton will participate in a mural project sponsored by the Artist-in-Education Residency program of the Maryland State Arts Council.
The project will be directed by Baltimore artist John Viles, with help from Lime Kiln art teacher Jaye Ayres.
"Lime Kiln Middle School is looking to create a mural that reflects our school and community and will beautify and personalize our building," Ayres said.
"In addition, as an artist, I like to expand my students' art experience beyond the classroom and develop their awareness of the arts as a career," she said.
Viles is an instructor in the fine arts department of Loyola College in Baltimore. He has been a visiting artist for more than 10 years in schools throughout Maryland.
"I don't have a preplanned package for what we'll do at an individual school," Viles said. "I look for things in a school that they don't do. I really encourage the students to be the decision-makers from the start. I direct the project. The students are the designers."
Reporters for the school newspaper plan to interview Viles and the middle school artists, and members of Lime Kiln's television crew will create a documentary about the mural process. The program will be aired at a reception celebrating the completion of the project in the spring.
Viles will ask the pupils to consider one question before they begin their work: in March: "What can you leave to your school as a gift?"
Whatever they decide to bequeath, "We hope to have a beautiful end product," Viles said.
The Howard County Association of Educational Office Professionals will hold basket bingo with Longaberger baskets as prizes Sept. 27 at Carroll Baldwin Memorial Hall, 9035 Baltimore St., Savage. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Proceeds from the event will go to a fund for a college scholarship to be awarded to a graduating Howard County high school senior who has taken business courses in high school and plans to continue in an office-related field.
The association has about 50 members, all of whom work as educational office professionals in county schools.
Ticket sales will be limited to the first 80 purchasers. Admission is $15. Refreshments will be available.
Information and tickets: Sherri Kennedy, 301-526-9301.