Nearly 600 children joined in Halloween fun at the Jefferson County Community Center during the Parks and Recreation 'Halloween Happening' event. Director Jennifer Myers said the crowd was much larger than last year and caught the center a bit off guard.
"We had planned for about 450," Myers said. She explained that after that number of children came through the doors, she had to make a "candy run" to restock the goodies.
Whether the youngsters came for fun and games, candy, a chance to win a cake in the cake walk or to ride the nighttime hayride, all on hand appeared to have a good time.
More than 40 cakes were donated for the cake walk which proved a popular game throughout the evening. The ever-popular moon bounces were also a big hit with the young crowd. One could observe Spider Man bouncing along with Dorothy who had returned from Oz and Frankenstein.
Taking a break from play, the party goers joined in a costume contest to show off the creative designs and all the hard work that went into making unique costumes for the party. While there were different categories for different age groups, the overall winner for the night was Tyler Amick, of Ranson. Tyler came dressed as a pacman video game complete with a lighted play board.
From the greeting outside the community center by ghosts and goblins set up to frighten, to the crafts and games and hayrides, participants look forward each year to the annual event.
Myers credited her staff and volunteers for the success of the night as she gathered them all for a group photo.
"You guys did a fantastic job," she said.
The staffers had little time to enjoy the praise as they move on to the next events on the busy schedule of the department. Along with a daily pre-school program, the center offers classes in everything from karate to ballet, painting to insect study.
The next special events on the calendar include the annual Craft Fair and Chili Cookoff which will be held on Nov. 16. More than 30 vendors will be on hand to offer goods for holiday gift-giving while attendees can also enjoy tasting multiple types and styles of chili and casting a vote for the favorite.
Also on the calendar is the annual Lunch with Santa which will fall on Saturday, Dec. 14 beginning at 11 a.m. For $12 per child, children will complete a fun craft, have a photo with Santa and enjoy lunch.
To find out more about the offerings of the Parks and Rec, visit www.jcprc.org or call 304-728-3207.