LEHMAN TWP. – Young people of all ages descended on the Luzerne County Fairgrounds Tuesday to celebrate Halloween with music, costumes and candy.
The event, in its second year, drew nearly 2000 area residents out for a night of “trick or treating” in a neighborhood environment with about 80 booths set up to receive youngsters, many willing to offer a joke or a song before receiving “treats” that ranged from candy to small toys.
The weather seemed to fully cooperate with a bit of chill which provided the perfect backdrop for a somewhat late start to the autumn season.
District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis, quick to offer both a smile and some candy, assisted in manning the Luzerne County District Attorney’s booth.
Salavantis said the event provided members of her office a chance to become familiar with residents of the community in a relaxed atmosphere.
In addition, she said she enjoyed seeing children donning a variety of costumes reflecting a great deal of creativity as they made their way through the fairgrounds.
Young and old attendees, from those so young they were bundled up in fuzzy blankets to great grandparents eager to tell stories of Halloween in times past, eagerly showed off costumes that ranged from tiny bumble bees to traditional clowns to scary dragons.
Erin McLaughlin, 14, and Olivia Anderson, 15, enjoyed the event, in spite of last-minute preparations.
McLaughlin, dressed as a banana, said, “I got talked into coming and so I wore a costume we already had.”
Anderson, in a Kim Possible costume, said, “It’s like Club Banana that was part of the series, so our costumes actually go together.”
Both said they enjoyed the event as an opportunity to have fun on a school night in the midst of friends and family.
Gregory Preate, of Harveys Lake, was one of several attendees who brought their pets along for a bit of exercise and socializing.
His 11-month-old puppy, Artic, donned an orange pumpkin sweater and enjoyed the chance to run in the open areas of the event, greeting children as they passed by.
“This is a great event,” said Preate. “We’re having a lot of fun.”
Fire chiefs Joe Blaine, of Idetown, and and Jerry Walker, of Lake Silkworth, along with members of several other fire departments, took the opportunity to show off their fire trucks and give out candy.
It’s a safe Halloween environment for the kids,” Blaine said. “They can have fun and not have to worry about things like traffic.”
Both Blaine and Walker said they often see members of the community while responding to a fire and it was a pleasure to be able to spend time with their families and members of the community during an uplifting event.
Hailey Williams, 15, enjoyed the many decorations set up by those participating in the event, especially a larger-than-life “Hulk.”
Williams, dressed as Jack Skellington, credited participants with offering a variety and abundance of candy.
Dianne Adamitz, representing the Luzerne County Fair and dressed as a witch, said the event was sponsored by Lehman Township,
“It really grew in just two years,” she said. “I hope to see it become an annual tradition.”
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