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Mini monsters brave rain for Park at Dark

October 23, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- It didn't take long for Doub's Woods Park to become the scariest place in Hagerstown Friday night as about 250 miniature monsters gathered for the fourth annual Park at Dark.

Marsha Moats, program coordinator for the Washington County Recreation Department, said the event is held to give young children a safe environment to enjoy the Halloween season.

"We try to make it spooky fun," Moats said.

A steady rain caused organizers to cancel the haunted hayride and a few of the other activities, but that didn't stop the little ghouls and goblins from crowding under a pavilion to collect candy, build scarecrows and listen to a scary story that warned of creeping ghosts, vampires and werewolves.

Moats said recreation department employees and volunteers from Hagerstown Community College and Washington County Technical High School spent most of the day setting up a graveyard and other stations, which included a temporary tattoo shop.

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The Washington County Sheriff's Department also was on hand to provide security.

Funkstown resident Philip Pappas said the $5 admission price was a bargain. Pappas attended the event with his son, Anthony, 10, and daughter, Kaya, 6.

"I like it other than the rain," he said. "The kids are having a good time."

Anthony Pappas, who dressed up as the Unknown Phantom, said he planned to spend the rest of Friday night eating the Skittles and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups that he reaped in the park pavilion.

"I think it's fun just because of the scary stories and the candy that you get," he said. "I get to dress up, too."

Wilmari Morales of Hagerstown said she enjoyed watching her young cousins as they helped build a scarecrow.

"It's really nice," Morales said. "I've never been to an activity like this. If it wasn't raining, it would be perfect."

Moats said Ellsworth Electric, Rinehart Orchards and Pepsi of Williamsport donated their services to help make the event possible.

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