I don't know about you, but I don't know of any other neighborhood with a fun committee. The group was started by Fred Holdridge and Howard Burns years ago and the emphasis is on "fun" instead of "funds." Some of my favorite German Village events are sponsored and coordinated by the fun committee.

I don't know about you, but I don't know of any other neighborhood with a fun committee. The group was started by Fred Holdridge and Howard Burns years ago and the emphasis is on "fun" instead of "funds." Some of my favorite German Village events are sponsored and coordinated by the fun committee.

This is the time of year the group shines. From the Pet Parade in Schiller Park to celebrate Halloween and how we love our four-legged friends, to Chili Today, Hot Tamale to celebrate the arrival of cold weather (Columbus gets so much of it, it's better to celebrate it than fight it, right?) to Casseroles and Carols to ring in the holiday season, there is no limit to the creativity of this group and their abilities to build upon Fred's idea to promote all things fun.

Specifics for all German Village Society events, including those of the fun committee, can always be found by visiting www.germanvillage.com, but know that the Pet Parade is this Sunday, Oct. 31, in the early afternoon and Chili Today, Hot Tamale follows a week later on Nov. 7. Both events are perfect opportunities for meeting new neighbors, so if you are new to the village and haven't quite found your niche yet, plan to attend one or both events. They are so casual and so friendly neither takes a bit of work on your part and both will make you feel a part of something special.

Costumes are not required for the Pet Parade, but if you are going to the trouble of marching your pet down to the amphitheatre in Schiller Park on Halloween, you might as well have them looking their best. And if "best" means a costume, then so be it.

Our generous friends at Village Coney are providing chili for the Nov. 7 event, and all we ask is that you bring a beverage and a few dollars to help fund future fun committee activities. The supper will be held in the Brent Warner Fest Hall at the Meeting Haus and promises to be lively, fun-filled and warm on what will surely be a cool night.

Be on the lookout for more details about Casseroles and Carols and other fun committee events like the Mid-Winter Spaghetti Supper. And if, after attending these low-key events, you find that your niche is the fun committee itself, the group will welcome you with open arms.

But while we are, in so many ways, all fun and games, we can't always focus on the fun instead of the funds; the society is, after all, a nonprofit. That doesn't mean we throw fun out the window. This Friday night, Oct. 29, is the much-anticipated Monster Bash, a four-year-tradition that has become a signature event for the village.

If you haven't bought tickets yet, do it now. Just like the Pet Parade, costumes are not required, but they are encouraged. If you've been in years past, you know how fun and outrageous the costumes get. If you've never been, take a look at the pictures on our website and you'll get the idea.

This year, the trick-or-treating leg of the event will be on City Park Avenue and the second part of the Monster Bash will be in the Brent Warner Fest Hall as it always has been. Grown-up trick-or-treating with food and drinks back at the Meeting Haus? That is kind of a no-brainer if you are looking for a fun way to spend Halloween. Go online to www.germanvillage.com or stop by the Meeting Haus for ticket information, and know that some of the best costumes are thrown together at the last minute.

One final note for your calendar is that trick or treat in Columbus is Thursday, Oct. 28, between 6 and 8 p.m. Get the candy ready and enjoy the costumes!

Jody Graichen is director of Historic Preservation Programs for the German Village Society.