July 7, 2022

Art & Lifestyle:

Halloween Fills St. Mary’s Square

St Marys Square

A perfect Southern Maryland autumn day, sunny, crisp, and dry, helped an ad hoc group of local businesses — calling themselves the Great Mills Business Association — throw a whale of a Halloween party last Saturday at St. Mary’s Square Shopping Center on Great Mills Road.

Ken Reed of S. Hunt Aero joined forces with William “BJ” Hall, president of St. Mary’s County NAACP; Scott Sanders of Envistacon; Wynne Briscoe, regional director of the Small Business Development Center; and a handful of other business leaders to plan the Halloween party, hosted by Mort Schuchman, operations director for SMS, LLC, owners of St. Mary’s Square Shopping Center.

In the middle of a pandemic the organizers first called in St. Mary’s County Health Officer Dr. Meena Brewster to keep the party safe, and her practical suggestion of sliding the candy through six-foot PVC pipe proved one of the hits of the day.

“We thought it would be a real hassle. It wasn’t. And the kids absolutely loved it!” said Mr. Hall.

“It was a great turnout, and we were delighted to join other agencies and businesses to have a fun time with the kids in the area,” said Chris Kaselemis, St. Mary’s County economic development director.

“It was a great day for a party in Lexington Park,” said Taylor Smith, associate director of St. Mary’s County Community Development Corp. “Everybody had a wonderful time!”

Neighbors of the Square turned out to bring candy and other goodies to distribute, including World Gym, located in St. Mary’s Square, Knowledge Boxing and Taylor Gas on Great Mills Road, as well as St. Mary’s Caring, Precise Systems, and Atkinson Aerospace and Technology. Even Larissa Briscoe of Perfume Chick Scented brought her shea butter. Mr. Kaselemis did his best to play the part of a cowboy. But at the end of the day it became obvious that the real stars were the children. They went all out with their costumes and their creativity was really on display.

Based on counts from the Bay District Volunteer Fire Department’s giveaway of hats and coloring books, the distribution of 150 pumpkins from Old Man’s Place on Sotterley Road, and the delivery of candy via the PVC chutes, due to great weather and the family atmosphere, there were reported to be over 500 children who visited the “Halloween Trail.” Including parents, the crowd was much larger than that. Because the trail was one-way, booths were spread, people wore masks, and the outdoor weather was great, this was a healthy way to get together and people asked, “What about Christmas?”

The event went on steadily from 1 to 4 pm.

Magic Man Reggie Rice entertained and Rick’s Stylz & Cutz cut hair. The Lexington Park COPS stopped in as well.


Dyson’s Building Center on Route 5 in Great Mills lent the party hay bales, making for comfortable seating — delivering and picking up.

“It was an incredible display of community,” Wynne Briscoe said. “Everyone came together. It was a fun day that we all enjoyed.”


William Hall, Wynne Briscoe, Ken Reed, and Scott Sanders organized the Halloween on the Square

The group hopes to gain momentum and bring a festival to St. Mary’s Square Shopping Center once a quarter.

“We’re already talking about Christmas time,” Mr. Hall said. “And St. Mary’s Square Shopping Center is the perfect place for basing these events. We envision the day when the events will grow and take in all the businesses and restaurants on Great Mills Road!”

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