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Suns host Halloween party at Municipal Stadium

November 30, 1999|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

A wild-haired Pittsburgh Steeler and a juice box were represented Saturday as the Hagerstown Suns threw open Municipal Stadium's gates for a Halloween celebration.

Among the familiar faces were Elmo from Sesame Street, SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer. There were skeletons, a gorilla and a Spider-Man or two.

"We just wanted to do something for kids," Suns General Manager Will Smith said after taking off his Darth Vader mask. The result was a few hours of free, safe trick-or-treating and partying.

Lindsay Renninger, who is finishing an internship with the Suns and helped organize the event, dressed as Goofy, the Disney dog.

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Renninger, of Glen Burnie, Md., said businesses could set up booths for free on one condition: "Just bring candy."

After getting a degree in speech communication from Shippensburg (Pa.) University, Renninger is looking for a job in event planning.

Travis Reed of Hagerstown figures he spent about four days making the juice box costume that his 5-year-old stepson, Brett Gish, wore.

"I got the idea, and he did it," said Brett's mother, Brandy Gish.

Brett trudged around the ballpark plaza in a bright "Hi-C Torrential Tropical Punch" box, accurate right down to the ® symbol next to the name. "Best if used by Oct 31 06," the box said.

At one table, children put their hands into boxes to blindly feel supposedly distasteful items, such as maggots, skeleton teeth and goblin skin. In case there was any doubt, though, the names were part of a ruse. The witches' intestines were spaghetti strands; the eyeballs were grapes.

A crew from Duron Paints & Wallcoverings in Hagerstown took its Halloween duties seriously. They spent several days preparing a table that, in the right spirit, had simulated body parts ? eyes in one jar, a heart in another, bat brains in a third.

"She's the witch, and we're the henchmen," said Kevin North of Marion, Pa., who runs the store. North and Assistant Manager David Clever of Clear Spring wore ghoulish masks. The witch was Lauren Guzik of Hedgesville, W.Va.

Noel Zepeda of Bunker Hill, W.Va., watched his 2-year-old daughter, Jasmine, apply purple paint to a pumpkin. Dressed as a princess, Jasmine got excited when reminded of her chance to go trick-or-treating.

Courtland Hahn, 7, picked a costume that might scare an NFL quarterback or two: He turned himself into frenetic Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Troy Polamalu.

The black No. 43 jersey and yellow pants were easy to imitate.

To replicate Polamalu's flowing, bushy hair, Courtland's mother, Chastity Lord of Boonsboro, used a wig from a monster mask and tucked the mask's face under Courtland's Steelers helmet.

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