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Lollipopalooza offers something for all ages

August 17, 2008|By MARIE GILBERT

HAGERSTOWN - Bridging the gap between Barney and Bono might seem a challenge.

Not for the musicians who performed at Saturday's Lollipopalooza at Hagerstown Community College.

There was something for all age groups - from exotic percussion instruments and folk music to a strolling guitarist.

And the crowd loved it.

Some danced, others sang along. Most, however, leaned back in their seats, soaked up the sun and relaxed.

But the day wasn't just about music. There was a wide variety of activities, including a giant inflatable slide, a moon bounce, magic shows and a chance to have your photo taken as a rock star.

It all was part of what has become an annual family-friendly event to mark the end of summer.

Held at HCC's Alumni Amphitheater, Lollipopalooza has been sponsored for the past eight years by the school's Student Government Association.

"It's a fun community event," SGA president Andrew Smith said. "It's a chance for families to enjoy a day together before a new school year begins."

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While admission was free, donations of school supplies were accepted for Children In Need Inc.

An hour after the gates had opened, one large table already were filled with backpacks, notebooks, crayons and glue. A second table was half full.

"We ask for donations every year and people are usually pretty generous," said Lisa Stewart, HCC's alumni coordinator. "Everybody wants kids to start school with nice stuff."

Karen Warnick of Hagerstown agreed. Accompanied by her two grandchildren, she donated a bag of school supplies, including index cards, folders, pencils and ruled paper.

"We all need to be reminded that there are so many children in our own town who need a helping hand," she said. "This didn't cost much, but I know it will be appreciated by a mom who can't afford back-to-school supplies for her children."

Organizers said Lollipopalooza annually draws hundreds of people, and this year was no exception.

"We're really happy with the great turnout," Smith said. "I think a lot of people wanted to be outdoors today."

Among those attending Saturday's event was Mary Fink of Hagerstown, who brought her 3 1/2-year-old son, Thomas.

"It's beautiful weather, so I thought this would be a nice way to spend the day," she said.

Fink said this was their first year attending Lollipopalooza, "but my neighbors had been here before and really liked it, so we decided to give it a try."

Shawntae Norris and her daughter Gabrielle, 4, stopped by the Discovery Station booth to look through a microscope at a caterpillar and make a name tag.

"We always come out for things like this," Norris said. "I'm always looking for fun activities for my daughter, and this event certainly had plenty of things to do."

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