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AROUND TOWN/Cage Dancing on Halloween and Yoga for Dogs

Gale Curcio
By Gale Curcio
Posted on Nov 03,2010
Filed Under News , Community, Entertainment , Local Style,
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Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks<br /> <br />Lee Braun dances in 'the cage' at her Halloween party.
Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks
Lee Braun dances in 'the cage' at her Halloween party.

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - While nearly 5,000 raucous revelers celebrated Halloween in grand style on South Lee Street in Old Town last Sunday, All Hallows Eve came early this year at the Braun’s house in Alexandria as an annual tradition was resurrected and celebrated a week early.

Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks<br /> <br />This creative couple came complete with realistic ice cream cones at the Brauns’ Halloween party.
Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks
This creative couple came complete with
realistic ice cream cones at the Brauns’
Halloween party.

Lee Braun loves Halloween so much that she spends several weeks and several hundred dollars to get ready for her annual shindig. So much so that last year, her husband, Peter Braun, put a stop to it.

Friends and family rebelled – and so the party was back again this year. It was bigger and better than ever. As usual, there was a theme and this year was no exception.

This year’s theme was Circus, and no detail was missed.
 
When guests arrived, they were "framed" in front of a circus backdrop (Lee’s mother-in-law, Claire Braun, spent three weeks buying empty frames at garage sales).

A palm reader was on hand to read palms, while guests could try their luck at winning a goldfish by throwing hoops on a stake or getting a ball into a carnival clown’s mouth.

In addition to the food that guests brought, there were packages of popcorn, hotdogs and cotton candy cookies.

And then there was THE CAGE – an elaborate red and white striped contraption built by the Brauns – with lots of help by friends. It was occupied all night by rowdy party-goers ready to dance.

Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks<br /> <br />Nick Wasilewski and Trish Fineran appear as the 'Burger King' and a matador at the Brauns’ Halloween party.
Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks
Nick Wasilewski and Trish Fineran appear
as the 'Burger King' and a matador at the
Brauns’ Halloween party.

Yet, while everybody had a great time, there was a serious side to it all. A ‘cover’ charge of $10 was collected and donated to United Community Ministries (UCM) – a total of $1,377 for the local organization that provides basic needs to citizens in and around the Route One corridor.

Fast forward to this past weekend. The Alexandria Farmers’ Market was busy as usual, with a few additions. A group of students from St. Rita’s School were on hand selling baked goods to raise money to purchase books.

On the other side of the market, Chef Gordon Forester from Union Street Public House was serving up praline bacon, candied apples and biscuits and gravy. The weekly Chefs’ Series will continue for a few more weeks.

Meanwhile, Montgomery Park was going to the dogs as the Old Town North Community and the City of Alexandria united to benefit the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria’s Sarah’s Fund and the Dog Run Improvement Project for Montgomery Park.
 
Jay Palermino started the Paws in the Park event with the encouragement of the Old Town North Community Partnership.  

“I produced it for the first year in 2007, from my involvement in Taste of Old Town North, years prior,” Palermino said. “Margaret Townsend continued with it the past two years.”

Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks<br /> <br />Chef Forester serves up praline bacon, candied apples and biscuits and gravy during the Live Chefs’ Series held at the Alexandria Farmers' Market.
Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks
Chef Forester serves up praline bacon, candied
apples and biscuits and gravy during the Live
Chefs’ Series held at the Alexandria Farmers'
Market.

Paws in the Park is a community fall outdoors festival with events and activities for dogs, their families and the community at-large. Activities included “Doga” classes (Yoga for Dogs), a Halloween Costume Parade, judging for all and in addition a Blessing of the Animals.  

Folk Artist Author Patricia Palermino was on-site to sign her newest children’s book, The Doggie Tails of Alex and Andria in Alexandria. Other sponsors included Cetacea Pet Gear, Old Town School for Dogs, River’s Edge Toga Center and the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Alexandria. The Alexandria Red Cross offered demos of pet first aid and CPR with Dog about Town Daisy Mae.
 
“The portion of the proceeds to be donated to the league will be earmarked for our Sarah’s Fund, which is so important because it allows us to care for animals with more extensive medicals needs,” said Tara Blot, Executive Director, Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.   

“With this fund we can do things like treat heartworm and address significant orthopedic and dental needs; in many shelters that is just not possible for financial reasons,” added Blot.
 
Durwood Gould, director of marketing for the Crowne Plaza Hotel, has been involved since its inception, along with event organizer Margaret Townsend, in establishing the affair as one not-to-be missed.  

Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks<br /><br />Shoppers at the Alexandria Farmers' Market flock to sample the praline bacon, candied apples and biscuits and gravy prepared by Union Street Public House's Chef Forester during the Live Chefs' Series.
Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks
Shoppers at the Alexandria Farmers' Market
flock to sample the praline bacon, candied
apples and biscuits and gravy prepared by
Union Street Public House's Chef Forester
during the Live Chefs' Series.

“It is especially heartwarming to be partnering with these organizations, in our backyard, and we look forward to continuing our relationship to help raise needed monies for the cause,” Gould said.


Photo by Jay Palermino<br /> <br />Students from St. Rita's School hold Fundraiser for Book Sales.
Photo by Jay Palermino
Students from St. Rita's School hold Fundraiser
for Book Sales.


Photo by Jay Palermino<br /> <br />Councilman Rob Krupicka addresses and thanks patrons for supporting the 3rd Annual Paws in the Park at Montgomery Park.
Photo by Jay Palermino
Councilman Rob Krupicka addresses and thanks
patrons for supporting the 3rd Annual Paws in
the Park at Montgomery Park.


Photo by Jay Palermino<br /> <br />Councilwoman Del Pepper applauds guests of the 3rd Annual Paws in the Park held on October 31.
Photo by Jay Palermino
Councilwoman Del Pepper applauds guests
of the 3rd Annual Paws in the Park held on
October 31.


Photo by Jay Palermino<br /> <br />Au Domaine European Wine Source Owner Rick Raunswinder picks the next winner at Paws in the Park.
Photo by Jay Palermino
Au Domaine European Wine Source Owner
Rick Raunswinder picks the next winner at
Paws in the Park.


Photo by Jay Palermino<br /> <br />Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille addresses attendees of Paws in the Park.
Photo by Jay Palermino
Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille addresses
attendees of Paws in the Park.








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