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Ellicott City: Coming alive with Halloween happenings

With Halloween just around the corner, here are some fang-tastic, spooky and family-friendly happenings to enjoy in and around Ellicott City.

Looking for the perfect pumpkin? Take a scenic hayride at Clark's Elioak Farm to their Pumpkin Patch.

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Elioak Farm will sponsor a Halloween weekend Oct. 29 and 30 with costume contests at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., face painting, pony and cow train rides. Don't forget to stop by the petting farm, Enchanted Forest attractions, pine tree maze or the country store for some sweet apple cider and CJ's Pitt Beef.

Through Nov. 6, the farm is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — last admission is at 4 p.m., but stay until 5 p.m. For more information, go to Clark's Elioak Farm's website at http://www.clarklandfarm.com.

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If a spooky hay ride is your preference, just over the Ellicott City line in West Friendship, the Howard County Living Farm Heritage Museum (across from the Howard County Fairgrounds) is sponsoring a 3-mile Haunted Hay Ride.

Billed as "not for the faint hearted," this hay ride will wind through wooded fields filled with old farm buildings and equipment. Lurking in the dark will be actors in scary costumes ready to spook even the most seasoned haunted hay rider.

The event serves as an annual fundraiser for the museum. The hay ride operates Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 21, 22, 28 and 29 from 7 to 10 p.m. (last ride departs at 10 p.m.). Cost is $15 per person. A concession stand will be available with light snacks including hot dogs and hot chocolate.

Call the museum at 410-489-2345 or go to its website at http://www.farmheritage.org for more information.

For more hair-raising Halloween fun, try the hauntingly famous Ye Haunted History of Olde Ellicott City Ghost Tours. Founded almost 240 years ago in 1772, some say that Historic Ellicott City is the most actively haunted town in America. Led by a period costumed tour guide, the walking tour will take you through the streets and alleyways of historic downtown, visiting the scenes of haunted locales and ghostly sightings.

Tours are Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:30 pm. Tickets are $13 for adults, $11 for children (12 and younger), seniors and active military personnel and their families.

This tour is not recommended for children younger than 6 years old. Tickets pay be purchased at the downtown Visitors Information Center at 8267 Main Street. Reservations are highly recommended during this time of year.

If you dare to learn more about the Ellicott City Ghost Tour, go to Howard County Tourism and Promotion's website at http://www.visithowardcounty.com then click "Ghost Tours" or call them at (410) 313-1900.

Did you know that historic Ellicott City hosts trick-or-treating on Main Street?

This year's event will be held Oct. 31 from 4 to 6 p.m. Sponsored by Mumbles and Squeaks Toy Shop, kids and their families are invited to visit the downtown businesses for an exciting evening of tricks or treats when Main Street comes alive with little monsters and pumpkins, princesses and Jedi warriors. Even our furry friends get into the Halloween spirit when they don their doggy costumes.

If your family would rather trick-or-treat inside, the Columbia mall is sponsoring its own Halloween Kids Fest. On Oct. 29 from 10 a.m. to noon, kids ages 2-12 are welcome to enjoy a free magic show by Beowulf T. Wonderbunny Traveling Show of Mystery (in center court) followed by mall-wide trick-or-treating.

To get ready for Halloween, the Disney Store in the mall is hosting a Halloween dress rehearsal party Friday, Oct. 21 at 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 22 at 10:30 a.m. and noon.

Kids will be treated to games, a special viewing of Rapunzel's coronation and a costume parade. Costumed guests ages 3 and older will receive a free gift (while supplies last). Please note this party is limited per session based on store capacity.

The sixth annual Scarecrow Classic 5K Run and 1 Mile Walk will take place Oct. 30 at Meadowbrook Park, in Ellicott City. Under the management of Charm City Run Events, all participants who register by Thursday, Oct. 20 will receive a commemorative T-shirt.

The event benefits the Brain Injury Association of Maryland. Novice runners and walkers are welcome. Awards will be given in numerous categories. Only dogs on leashes are permitted.

For more information including registration, go to the Brain Injury Association's website at http://www.biamd.org/scarecrow.html.

Calling all crafters! The Catholic Daughters of the Americas, the Court Howard No. 1882 chapter, will hold its annual craft bazaar and bake sale Nov. 20 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the main Hall of the Church of the Resurrection in Ellicott City.

Applications for craft tables ($20 each) may be obtained by calling Evelyn Ziegler at 410-465-3587 or email zieglers@comcast.net. Handcrafted items may also be brought in by consignment.

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