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Holyoke to celebrate Halloween with a variety of events

By Paula Canning

Staff Writer

HOLYOKE With Halloween just around the corner, Holyoke is gearing up for a variety of events that will take place throughout the city.

The city is sponsoring a City Hall Trick or Treat, and invites any youth age 10 or under to attend the event. According to Assistant to the Mayor Kathy Anderson, participating offices will be dressed for the occasion while giving out candy.

The Holyoke Parks and Recreation will host a "Halloween Spooktacular" event on Oct. 29 at Heritage State Park from 12 to 3 p.m. Carolyn Porter, director of the Parks Department, said that children 12 and younger are invited to attend. Included on the list of events is horse-drawn hay rides for the family from 12 to 2 p.m., and a costume parade led by members of the Holyoke High School marching band.

There will also be "creepy" crafts, and a performance by "Thomasina the Good Witch," at 2 p.m.

Children in costume can ride the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round for half of the price ($.50). The Merry-Go-Round is open to the public on weekends, September through May from noon to 4:00 p.m., and daily in Summer and school vacations from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Looking towards the upcoming months, Anderson said Peace Week 2005 will begin on Nov. 13.

"It's going to be a great week," Anderson said.

She said the opening ceremony will take place on Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. at Heritage State Park Visitors Center. Performances will done by the United Congregational Church,who will sing "Proud to be an American" and "Peace and Earth," and by the Church of Jesus Christ Agape Ministries.

The Council on Aging's poetry class will also participate in the event with a poetry reading.

Anderson said that the week, other institutions and organizations will be take part in Peace Week, including the Head Start program, which will sponsor a "hands are not for hurting," initiative designed to teach children to refrain from violence.

The program will include various activities, such as finger-painting, that demonstrate what positive things can be accomplished with one's hands.

Anderson also noted another upcoming event the city's participation in The Clothesline Project.

The Clothesline Project calls for all participating women from women's shelters throughout western Massachusetts who have been abused to express their emotions by decorating a t-shirt. The t-shirts are then hung on a clotheslines, serving as "a very powerful exhibit," according to Anderson.

"It serves as a kind of therapy for these women," she said.

The site of the exhibit will be Girl Inc in Open Square, beginning Nov. 17.

The Clothesline Project, which originated in 1990 in Cape Cod to address the issue of violence against women, has expanded to various places throughout the world.