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Lollipopalooza rocks

Family-friendly event marks end of summer for some

Family-friendly event marks end of summer for some

August 15, 2009|By MARIE GILBERT

HAGERSTOWN -- From elementary school through college, Brad Bilbaugh played in a lot of bands.

Although he admits he and his friends generally were dreadful, "performing clumsy versions of popular cover songs," it was hard to deny his love of music.

It's a gift the Hagerstown man has passed on to his son, Ian.

With several years of guitar lessons under his belt, the 10-year-old hopes to someday express himself creatively in a rock 'n' roll band.

He took a step in that direction Saturday afternoon, posing for a photo dressed in a black leather jacket and holding a purple electric guitar.

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Even though the guitar was inflatable, Ian liked the look. So did his fans -- a small crowd of family and friends who cheered him on.

A rock 'n' roll photo session was just one of the offerings at Lollipopalooza, an annual family-friendly event at Hagerstown Community College's Alumni Amphitheater.

Sponsored by the HCC Student Government Association, a variety of activities kept children of all ages entertained -- from a giant inflatable slide to a children's dance party featuring a deejay.

"It's a great way to mark the end of summer," said Ethan Reynolds, president of the Student Government Association. "It's the last hurrah before school starts."

This was the ninth year for Lollipopalooza, said Heather Barnhart, HCC's student activities coordinator.

Organizers expected more than 500 people to attend the event.

While admission was free, Barnhart said donations of school supplies were being accepted for Children in Need Inc.

"We want people to come and have fun, but we're also here to help kids in our community who can't afford many of the classroom necessities," she said. "Hopefully, we're making a difference. We've always had a very generous crowd and we appreciate everything they donate."

Among those attending Lollipopalooza was Beth Swope of Williamsport, who brought her three children, Emily, 10, Joshua, 7 and Janet, 3.

"I saw it in the newspaper and thought it would be something fun for the kids to do before school started," she said.

Though they only had been there for a short while, Swope said her children already were having fun on the inflatable slide.

"But they're very gregarious," she said. "I'm sure they're going to enjoy everything."

Jameeka Jones of Hagerstown brought her daughter, Britney, 5, to Lollipopalooza "for something fun to do on a Saturday."

"It was such a beautiful day, I wanted to be outdoors," she said. "This was perfect. And it's free. You can't find many events like this anymore."

Members of the Student Government Association, as well as HCC alumni, served as volunteers throughout the event. Free popcorn and drinks were provided by the HCC Alumni Association.

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