From The World Of Parks & Recreation

Halloween has always been a favorite time of year for me as a kid.  Getting to dress up in a costume and roaming the blocks of North View are some of my best memories of Halloween.

Friendly neighbors waited on the porch with their baskets of candy for the little kids. Oh, what good times they were.

Another fond memory was the elementary school Halloween parade where we would wear our costumes to school and judges chose the best in the school.  I had a “movie quality” outfit of Chewbacca from Star Wars.  Unfortunately, I was only 4’3’’ in third grade, so I looked more like an Ewok, a relative of the Wookie family.  Later, I would be introduced to all the things you can do with chicken wire. And, after a little bending and forming plus some brown crayons and A&P paper bags, I was the Planter’s Peanut.  Yes, I was exposed to arts and crafts early as a kid.

Do you remember exactly where you were on December 2nd, 1983?  I know it is 30-some days after the Celtic holiday of the Samhain. However, this event had inspirations of a Halloween themed setting.

I was sitting with my friends watching MTV waiting the first ever “World Premier Video”.  This 13-minute video, directed by John Landis, who is more notably known for his ageless movies like Animal House or the Blues Brothers, cost 1-million to make and it heavily impacted all kids between the ages of 12 to 20.

All because some skinny kid from Indiana wearing a red leather coat with black stripes looking like a zombie was doing some of the most original dancing I have ever seen.  And, to add, celebrity ghoul Vincent Price had a cameo with a haunting rap.  Thriller was born, and Michael Jackson earned the title “King of Pop.”

Unfortunately, as time goes on, all Hallows Eve is losing some of its luster.  Every day we turn on the TV, we hear reports on some of the ugliness of the world.  And, it does not look like we are reversing this process anytime soon.

Twenty-five years ago, the Harrison County Parks and Recreation developed an alternative way for the children to have a safe, fun atmosphere.  The annual Children’s Halloween Party was born and this year’s event kicked off this past Thursday at the Recreation Complex.

“We created this event in order to give children an opportunity to have a safe Halloween,” related Director Mike Book. “The event has been going on for years and we have had some packed houses since we moved out to the Rec Complex.  It’s good for the community and all the children of Harrison County.  The Commission has been a big support of the program and its success.”

Funded through the County and the Vital Service Levy, the first 150 kids between the ages of 3-12 received a bag full of treats, played various carnival games and participated in a costume contest where trophies were presented to the winners.

“We have upwards of 200-250 stop by the Rec Complex to play the games and get bags of candy.  And members of the County Commission and County employees always stop by to show support.  Again, the primary goal is providing a fun and safe alternative to trick or treating and we have accomplished that,” said Book.

And if you must know, I did break out the arts and crafts and made a costume.   Have a great week!

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