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Shepherdstown Public Library celebrates Halloween Eve with parade, story time
November 9, 2018

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SHEPHERDSTOWN -- Unicorns, dinosaurs, astronauts and spidermen paraded down the sidewalks of West German Street, during the Shepherdstown Public Library Children's Department's Halloween Parade and Story Time on Oct. 30.

Although the annual event has been held since at least 1990, according to Director Hali Taylor, it was many attendees' first time participating in the event.

"It is their first time doing this," said Victoria Kent, as she watched her three-year-old daughter, dressed as a unicorn, and her 18-month-old son Ansley, dressed as a lion.

"I'm trying to get Arya around more kids her age, now that she's getting older," Kent said. "By doing fun things like this, we are making new traditions that we will most likely do again next year. It's something for us to look forward to again."

Shepherdstown Police Department Parking Enforcement Officer Stephen Alemar escorted the troupe of 40 children and parents on their parade route, as Children's Librarian Tara Carlisle, dressed as a witch, and library volunteer Jane Levitan, dressed as a cowgirl, led the parade.

"This I do for fun. It gets in your blood -- you love this stuff," Levitan, a retired children's librarian from Martinsburg-Berkeley County Public Library, said.

According to Carlisle, the enthusiasm of the children made the event preparation worthwhile.

"The turnout is amazing. It shows what a great community we have," Carlisle said. "It was fun -- I love seeing kids in their costumes."

After the parade finished, the participants marched up to the War Memorial Building's second floor for a Halloween-themed story time. Along with listening to several Halloween stories and poems, children created spider webs, decorated child-sized pumpkins donated by Orr's Farm Market and munched on apples from Sunny Meadows Garden Center in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Shepherdstown resident Nina Hockman helped her grandson, dressed as a train engineer, as he carried his pumpkin and apple in his arms. Hockman, who babysits her grandson on a regular basis and takes him to story time at the library, said this was her grandson's second time participating in the event.

"It's something to do, and it's very good, developmentally, for him to be around other children and to hear other stories," Hockman said, mentioning she took her youngest daughter, now 30, to the event as a child.

Library volunteer and retired 30-year Frederick County, Maryland children's librarian Jennifer Bean, dressed as a purple butterfly, smiled as she watched the children having fun at the event.

"We're blessed with this great turn out, and we have lots of crafts," Bean said. "I just love the kids they get so excited during story time, it's so cute."

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