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Halloween in the Park
will scare the yell out of you

James Rada, Jr.
Thurmont Dispatch

(10/18) When the sun sets on Oct. 27, Community Park will change like a werewolf in the full moon. The shady park with playgrounds and a fitness trail will vanish and in its place will be a ghostly town of thrills and chills.

“Expect the unexpected,” said Mike Toms with Death Valley Inc. who has helped create Halloween in the Park for the past three years.

This year will be the fifth year for Halloween in the Park and the fun begins at 6 p.m. at Community Park.

“We’re trying to add a little bit each year,” Toms said. “It will have lots of fun, good, safe things for kids to do.”

Things begin with a short parade from the town office to Community Park.

“When we get to the park, we’ll do a meet-and-greet to let the kids know we’re not going to hurt them,” Toms said.

One of things being emphasized this year is the kid-friendly nature of the event. In the past some smaller children have been frightened by the costumes and hay ride. Besides the meet-and-greet, one hay ride each hour will be non-scary so smaller children can enjoy it.

Kids can also get a map of the park at the gingerbread house and work toward getting stamps at different locations. If you get all of the stamps, you’ll qualify for prizes.

Another area of the park will be Thurmont’s “Maim Street” with shops where kids can get treats.

Other events include a magic show, karaoke and a DJ who will be playing music.

“We want to have a lot of things for them to do and keep it a family event,” said Town Commissioner Wayne Hooper who helps organize Halloween in the Park each year.

Once again this year, the hay ride will be first come, first serve and it will run until everyone who wants to ride has had a chance to ride.

The admission for all of this is one canned food item that will go to the Thurmont Food Bank. Death Valley Inc. will also be collecting donations to buy phone cards for soldiers serving in the Middle East.

“Even if you can only give $1 or 50 cents, it will help,” Toms said.

Halloween in the Park is paid for through the donations of town businesses.

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