Costumes, carnivals mark Halloween, harvest

Spooky Schools

Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Around these parts, All Hallows' Eve isn't just a single night of frightful fun -- the revelry lasts all through the month of October.

Shrieks of joy and fun-filled terror have filled area schools throughout the month, as classrooms and hallways turned into fall festivals.

Little witches, princesses, superheros and pirates ran through school buildings, eager to celebrate extended Halloween festivities with friends and families.

At the Mountain View Elementary carnival Oct. 18, children and their parents quickly switched roles as the eager kids pulled their parents into the school.

For one evening, the learning institution promised nothing but old-fashioned fall fun.

At the door, families bought 50-cent tickets to spend on attractions throughout the building.


McKenna Dunn lines up a shot at one of the carnival's games.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

The school office turned into a novelty store, offering plastic spider rings, candy necklaces, jack-o-lantern hacky sacks and other spooky toys.

"The haunted house is only one ticket!" a child shouted to a friend as the pair, eager for an adrenaline rush, ran to join the line that meandered down the hallway. Inside, strobe lights and surprise attacks kept the kids screaming in joyous fear.

Parents obligingly carried their families' winnings from classrooms hosting bingo and cake walks.

And the gym, filled with a sea of costumed children of all ages and the sugar sweet sent of concession snacks, could match any old-time country fair, offering a maze of carnival games from face painting to ring tosses to bottle fishing.

Nikiski Elementary hosted a similar festival last weekend, and Tustumena Elemen-tary in Kasilof promises much of the same at its annual Halloween carnival tonight.

The carnival will run from 6 to 9 p.m. at the school. There will be games for kids of all ages, plus pie-eating and pumpkin-decorating contests and more than 100 raffle prizes.

Families are encouraged to come in costume, bring carved or painted pumpkins to enter in the contests and stock up on $1 raffle tickets before the 8 p.m. drawing.

Schools also will host classroom Halloween parties throughout the day today, and students at both Sears and Kalifornsky Beach elementary schools will don their costumes once again for the schools' annual Halloween parades.

And, of course, there will be trick-or-treating galore Thursday night, though some schools and communities will offer alternatives to the door-to-door candy hunt.

Both Tustumena and Kalifornsky Beach elementary schools will sponsor "trunk or treat" events. Kids will be invited to go from car to car in the safety of the school parking lots to gather their treats.

And don't forget the annual Halloween Hoot Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Ninil-chik Fairgrounds. The festivities will be free for children.

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