THERE WAS a great deal of fun to be had last weekend, when hundreds of children and their parents came to Carroll Baldwin Hall to play games, see the Deathly Diner and show off their costumes.
The Savage Halloween party exceeded its organizers' hopes.
Carolyn Adami, who organized Savage Halloween parties a decade ago, was a hit dressed in a white tutu as the Lottery Fairy.
Eileen Johanson dressed as a gypsy and read fortunes.
Mary Ann Gardes came as a black cat.
She kept the ringtoss and other games going.
The Cat in the Hat who sold cookies was Nancy Czarnecki.
Diane and Charlie Osterhaudt built the ringtoss and beanbag throw.
At the Deathly Diner, Girl Scout Cadet Troop 1091 blindfolded visitors, who felt their way across the darkened stage through a gory menu made up of hearts (halved tomatoes), eyeballs (olives), brains (Jell-O) and guts (cooked rippled-edge lasagna noodles).
Everyone had a terrific time.
Time for ham
The good times are still rolling. As it has for decades, Savage United Methodist Church will hold its fall ham and oyster dinner and craft fair tomorrow.
Volunteers Molly Gordon and Agnes Riley reveal that church members are busy putting the finishing touches on the seasonal items for sale.
Gordon says her basement is filled with wreaths.
The ham and oyster dinner begins at 3 p.m. and will last until the food runs out -- so come early.
Come listen to heavenly melodies sung by the Burke Family from 6: 30 p.m. to 7: 30 p.m. tomorrow at Patuxent Valley Middle School.
The school's principal, Sterlind Burke, and his family will present a gospel and inspirational concert. Burke and his family have performed at the school every year since he became the principal three years ago.
It is their contribution to the holiday season.
Admission is one canned food item for the Savage Food Bank.
Last year, the school gathered more than 8,000 canned items for the bank.
This year, the count is up to 5,000, and the final tally isn't in.
Please be generous when coming to hear the music.
The school is at 9151 Vollmerhausen Road, at Savage-Guilford Road.
Lest all these pleasures keep us from celebrating a once-in-any-lifetime moment -- the year 2000 -- longtime Savage resident Charla Long is doing her best to light up the town for the big day.
Decorating Savage is not a new ambition for Long. Last year, she, her husband, Joe, and her sister-in-law, Betsy Beachum, made wreaths and decorated Carroll Baldwin Hall for the holidays.
The old stone building looked festive indeed.
Recently, the Longs and Beachum were talking about the old days in Savage. Beachum remembered that the town used to hold a holiday decorating contest.
Her grandmother, who lived in a former grist mill on Savage-Guilford Road, won the contest in 1940.
Beachum lives in a newer house on the old site.
But it has been years since a holiday decorating contest has been held in the town.
How nice it would be to do it again, the Longs thought, and they presented the idea to the Savage Community Association.
As luck would have it, the same idea occurred to the owners of the Savage Mill.
A meeting of minds, a few fliers printed and prize money put up, and behold -- a Savage Holiday Decorating Contest.
Charla Long is delighted, but her real ambition is to decorate the town with light.
Last year, Long found the luminarias placed on Vollmerhausen Road to be lovely. The candles, stuck in sand inside paper bags, were part of a project organized by Columbia resident Jay Cincotta to illuminate 250 streets in Kings Contrivance village.
Long thought it would be just the sort of thing to make Savage look great.
"It's such a peaceful thing to see," Long says. "It's awesome. We're so old-fashioned. I think it would look neat with our architecture."
So she called Cincotta, who had decided to expand his project to include all of Columbia.
Now, Long is in charge of a new portion of Cincotta's luminaria project -- in Savage.
It's an ambitious undertaking. Long hopes to get both sides of every street in Savage lighted by candles on the night of Jan. 1.
With about 10 miles of roads in town, that makes 20 running miles of candles, if both sides are counted. But Long is confident it can be done.
She is looking for volunteers and block captains to help. She has a number of volunteers: Mary Ann Gardes, Sharon Spicher, Elaine Johanson, Debbie Clever, Ed Cezar, Rose Houghton, David Menusan, Dennis Thorton and Neil Doran.
But she needs more.
Part of the problem, Long says, is that there are long stretches of road where no ones lives.
She needs people to set up candles at Bollman Bridge Elementary and Patuxent Valley Middle School, as well as along the stretch of Vollmerhausen Road that runs by Savage park, along Foundry Street toward the Bollman Truss Bridge and Baltimore Street out to U.S. 1.
In addition, Long is looking for residents of apartment complexes and townhouse communities to volunteer to place candles in those places.
Long says she hopes that Scout troops, church youth groups and business people will volunteer for the project.
She also is looking for donations.
Candles, bags and sand cost 25 cents a set, but many are needed.
"It's like buying a piece of a miracle," Long says. "It's going to look like a miracle for just one night."
Information or to volunteer: 301-604-0378 or email@example.com.