“The Great Pumpkin always picks the most sincere pumpkin patch to rise out of. He’s just gotta pick this pumpkin patch. He’s just gotta! Look around. You can see that there’s not a sign of hypocrisy anywhere. Nothing but sincerity reaching out as far as the eye can see.”

— Linus, in Charles Schultz’s “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”

By Candace Cooksey Fulton

Brownwood Bulletin

And there’s another famous line from that 1966 Charlie Brown TV special. Several actually. But who doesn’t identify with poor Charlie Brown, a little, sometimes? And when he points out in a treat bag comparison, “I got a rock,” is that not the very thing we always were afraid would happen when we went trick or treating?

Could we say a collective “boo hoo” too for poor Charlie Brown since he, by the way, didn’t even have the starring role in the show? Feeling sorry for CB is one thing, but never fear. Great Pumpkin or no, holey ghost costumes or not, there’s no Charlie Browns out there today. It’s a day so chock full of fun, festivals, work, play, barbecues, benefits and who knows what, that the only way you could be short changed is if you forget to get out of bed — which surely you won’t.

It’s homecoming at Howard Payne. (What fun.) It’s the third annual dog costume contest in downtown Brownwood and this year’s event is coupled with the Brownwood Art Association’s “All About Animals” art show. And it’s The Lone Star Riding Club’s Coats for Christ Jackpot Benefit Play Day — also their third annual.

Did someone say festivals?

The May Community Center, in May, will sponsor the third annual (would you believe) Fall Fun Fest from 5 until 8 p.m. Fun, food and games are planned for everyone. Dress in costume and come have a great time. All money raised will benefit the May Community Center. Early First Baptist Church, 103 Garmon Dr., is having its Fall Festival from 6 to 8 p.m. Events include a cake walk, face painting, football throw, bobbing for pickles, fishing pond and more. Admission is free. The North Lake Volunteer Fire Department is having a Haunted House from 7 to 10 p.m. Admission is $1 for 12 and under and adults $2. Children younger than 6 must be accompanied by a parent. Aldersgate Enrichment Center’s Fall Festival will have games, food, prizes, a cake walk (and much more) from 6 to 10 p.m., at the Center, four miles south of Early on the Zephyr Highway. Game tickets are four for a dollar and there’s no limit on the fun. Calvary Baptist Church is having a Harvest Festival from 6 to 8 p.m. at 1719 Ninth St. There will be games, prizes and tons of family fun. The Richland Springs Coyote Booster Club hosts a Chili Supper/Bingo night beginning at 5 p.m. Cost is $5 per person, all you can eat. Bingo begins around 7 p.m. There will also be a spook house, cake walk, air jumper, football toss and other fun activities.

Trick or Treat

There’s always something neat (and good to eat) this time of year when the Redstone residents and staff invite children 11 years old and younger, to come trick or treating (they get a free bag to gather goodies) at the community, 2410 Songbird Circle. Come from 5 to 7:30 p.m. and enjoy a free hot dog, and maybe win a prize.

Howard Payne homecoming

Hey, ‘’Jackets, welcome home. Friends and alumni have a very busy day, starting at 7:30 a.m. with a Letterman’s Breakfast at the Mabee Center balcony. Continental breakfasts are planned for the Classes of 1947 and 1967 at 8 a.m. at Mabee Center. Hispanic alumni and friends will gather to present the Rev. Salvador Trevino this year’s Dr. Jose Rivas Distinguished Service Award and scholarships to 13 HPU students of Hispanic heritage at a breakfast starting at 8 a.m. today at the First Baptist Church Activity Center.

An alumni and university golf tournament will open at 8 a.m. at Brownwood Country Club.

The HPU Concert Choir will perform at 9 a.m. at First Baptist Church, prior to the 10 a.m. parade.

After the parade, reunions by the African-American Alumni Chapter, Chi Alpha Omega, Delta Chi Rho, Zeta Zeta Zeta and the Classes of 1967, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992 and 1997 will be held.

Picnic on the Plaza will be served at 11:30 a.m. at Muse Mall and Plaza. The women’s soccer team will face McMurry at 1 p.m., with the men’s teams scheduled to play at 3 p.m. The HPU football game will host Louisiana College at 2 p.m. at Gordon Wood Stadium.

After the game, or around 5 p.m., the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom will hold a reception at the Hall of Christian Civilization. The Sports Hall of Fame banquet will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Mabee Center.

‘Bye Bye Birdie’

Oh those innocent — and oh so complicated ’60s. They’re so back, so silly and so fun with Howard Payne University’s homecoming play production of “Bye Bye Birdie.” Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. today and 2 p.m. Sunday on the HPU Theatre stage. Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for students. Call 649-8500 to make reservations.

Dressed up animals and art

Combine canines in costume with animal art and it’s a toss up between bow, wow and “a fun thing to do on the Saturday before Halloween.”

The Brownwood Art Association and the Corinne T. Smith Animal Center are cosponsoring the event, which runs from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., today, in the lot across the street from the Art Center, on the corner of Fisk and Lee.

Also today’s the opening day for the Brownwood Art Association’s “All About Animals” fall art show, same time, right across the street.

A couple of great sales

The Brownwood Woman’s Club will hold a “Big Sale” from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the old Pulido’s location next to Nelson Wholesale. Items available include designer clothing, jewelry, furniture, garden tools, children’s books and toys, etc. The Owens Extension Education Club annual fund raiser trades day is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Owens on Highway 183 North. There will be a bake and garage sale, barbecue sandwiches and drinks.

And speaking of barbecue

A fund-raising barbecue will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the west parking lot of the CVS on Commerce to help raise money for Brownwood High student Megan Green’s trip to New York for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Green was accepted to be on the Color Guard/Dance Team for Macy’s Great American Marching Band. Brisket sandwiches will be $5, plus drink. Donations also accepted. Chances will also be sold for a queen-sized quilt to be raffled; tickets are $1 each or six for $5. The Grosvenor School Reunion is from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Brownwood State Park Group Rec Hall. Barbecue brisket will be served at noon. Please bring a covered dish, salad or dessert to share. Lunch will be followed by a business meeting and auction.

Maybe you could go

as a moose

Elks Lodge No. 2300 will hold a costume party at 7 p.m. at 1070 West Commerce, Brownwood. There will be Karaoke for entertainment.

Angel Food Ministries

Today is the Angel Food Ministries distribution day at the following times and churches: from noon to 1 p.m., United Methodist Church of Early; noon to 1 p.m., May United Methodist Church; 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at North Lake Community Church; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Central United Methodist Church, 1501 Second St. in Brownwood. Remember to bring one large box to carry the food, and the receipt for your order. Next month’s menu will be available at the pick up.

Coats for Christ Play Day

The Lone Star Riding Club presents the third annual Coats for Christ Jackpot Benefit Play Day. Books open at 4 p.m., and the Play Day starts at 5 p.m. Trophies will be given in first, second and third place in all age groups. For more information call Martha at 752-1098 or Tonya at 643-4389.

Do you know Tae Bo?

A Tae Bo-A-Thon beginning at 9 a.m. at Fit By Faith will help to raise money for the Billy Banks Foundation to send care packages to soldiers stationed in Iraq.

To participate, pick up a sign up sheet to take around and ask for sponsors. For more information call Krista at 641-0721.

Various and sundry

The Keep Brownwood Beautiful Recycling Trailer will be available at the Lake Brownwood Bridge Volunteer Fire Department on Highway 279 from 9 a.m. to noon. Recycle your glass, cardboard, newspaper, aluminum, metal cans, plastic bottles and milk jugs. Only clean items will be accepted. First Baptist Church of Bangs and Central Texas Gospel sponsor a Southern Gospel concert beginning at 6 p.m. at 401 S. Second St. in Bangs. Featured will be Blessing from Odessa. For more information call Emmett or Sherrel Mathews at 752-7234. The Heart of Texas Dance Club meets from 7 to 9 p.m. each Saturday at St. John’s Episcopal Church, at Main and Depot, for open dance practice. Cost is $2 per person. Call 646-0048 or 646-0037 for more information. New Way Narcotics Anonymous meets at 8 a.m., noon and 7 p.m. daily at 602 W. Commerce. For more information call 646-7777. The Lake Brownwood Lions Club, 6751 Highway 279, will host bingo at 1:30 p.m. Girling Home Health and Hospice Inc. is having its Bereavement Support Group to the community from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Girling offices at 1423 Coggin Ave.