Hampden: Halloweenfest, costume contest, frightful fun on tap for Oct. 31

This year's Hampden Halloweenfest takes place Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 5-6 p.m., with trick-or-treating at participating businesses along and just off the Avenue, sponsored by the Hampden Village Merchants Association.

Following from 6-8 p.m is the Halloween Costume Contest co-sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Hampden Midtown and Johns Hopkins University's Circle K Club. The contest takes place in the 800 block of West 36th Street, in front of Ma Petite Shoe.

Trophies for all ages will be awarded for the prettiest, the scariest and the most original costumes. Ma Petite Shoe will also be hosting a photo shoot during the costume contest, with photos being made available on both the Ma Petite Shoe and Hampden Halloweenfest Facebook pages.

A Taste of Hampden, the popular annual benefit for the Hampden Family Center, is Thursday, Oct. 25, from 6-9 p.m.

Tickets are $30 each, with all proceeds earmarked for the center.

As the number of great restaurants in Hampden increases, this event becomes more than a good charity event, but a bargain for foodies. You get to sample the offerings from a number of Hampden's award-winning restaurants, you get to enjoy tasty beverages, and you get to hang out with some awesome folks.

You also help a neighborhood institution that serves our residents and community. Go to http://hampdenfamilycenter.org/taste.shtml to buy your tickets.

The Golden West Cafe, 1105 W. 36th St., has a number of great shows lined up this fall. Two you won't want to miss are Twerps, Alex Bleeker and Gary B and The Notions on Tuesday, Oct. 16, and Alaskan, Co-Pilot, At The Graves and The Lottery on Monday, Oct. 22. Doors open at 10 p.m.

Closer at hand, local artist Ben Claassen III will have an art show/book release party Friday, Oct. 12 from 7-9 p.m. at Atomic Books, 3620 Falls Road. He's celebrating the release of his new comic, "Dirtfarm: Hideous Heart," which collects a number of his relationship-themed comics.

He'll also be displaying and selling original art, including "editorial work for a number of newspapers and magazines. His strip, "Dirtfarm" runs regularly in the Baltimore City Paper.

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