Halloween Safety Party, Fun Fest will continue Private sponsors to take over events GLEN BURNIE

July 19, 1993|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writer

Two Glen Burnie festivals that the county decided to stop running this year will be rescued from extinction by business and community groups.

Three businesses will assume the operation of the Halloween Safety Party, and service organizations have indicated they want to run the Family Fun Fest.

"I'm very happy these events will continue," said Ruthanne Gary, director of community services for the county.

Budget cuts shrank her office from 11 workers to two in recent weeks, leaving no one to schedule and manage the festivals.

The Halloween party, usually attended by hundreds of costumed children, is scheduled for 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Halloween at the Arundel Center North plaza.

The Northern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, The Sun and Marley Station Mall will sponsor the Halloween Safety Party.

"We were delighted to be able to do something for the children in the area," said Griff Hall, president of the 250-member business organization.

This marks the first time the chamber and the mall will be heavily involved with the party.

"We know this is going to be a huge success," said Roni Septoff, marketing director of the 6-year-old shopping mall. "We are going to take care of all the entertainment."

The chamber will take on the task of overall organization.

The Sun will assist in coordinating volunteers, promotion and the like. Bob Penick, associate publisher for The Sun for Anne Arundel County, said the newspaper, which has helped sponsor the event the past three years, took on the larger role at the request of Ms. Gary.

"We want the kids to be safe," Mr. Penick said.

Ms. Gary said she was awaiting final word from a large service organization in Glen Burnie that had expressed interest in taking over the Fun Fest. She said she expected the group would be assisted by other community service organizations that had contacted her.

The festival has traditionally been held in June outside the

Arundel Center North, but the date would be determined largely by the new organizers.

County government operation of the two popular events was a casualty of the reorganization and downsizing of county government. The Office of Community Services had organized, sponsored and run both events until 1991. It has offered to turn over its lists of volunteers, contributors and performers to whoever takes on the events.

In 1990, the Office of Community Services spent more than $7,500 on each event, Ms. Gary said. Then the county stopped its financial support, but continued to run the events and had many of its departments, such as police and fire, represented. Many county offices probably will continue to participate, Ms. Gary said.

Many area residents look forward to the events and say they not only reflect a sense of family, but help give Glen Burnie a boost. "They are important, especially to the downtown," said Patricia Barland, commercial revitalization manager for the county, who works with local businesses and community groups.

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