Sunday, April 14, 2024

Halloween activities a treat for Plains children

by TRACY SCOTT Valley Press
| November 8, 2023 12:00 AM

Witches, ghouls, ghosts and vampires haunted the streets of Plains on Halloween.

Children of all ages lined the streets, going house to house and taking advantage of the many activities sponsored by numerous organizations, churches and businesses throughout town.

The costumed and candy-filled day started out with the first annual trunk or treat event taking place in the parking lot behind the school gym and sponsored by elementary school teachers. Each teacher decorated their vehicles, which were staffed by high school student volunteers, dressed for the occasion. 

Trunk decorations ranged from a Candyland theme, staffed by the school lunch program team members. The Score Some Treats display, with students Zande Czifro and Emory Ercanbrack, both senior class members along with eighth grader Hadyn Rice, handed out candy. 

Teacher Cristina Winebrenner sacrificed her Jeep to the cause, with a skeleton filled vehicle. Senior Gabe Rasmussen and eighth-grader Reece Crowley filled their display called Roadkill, with animal parts saved from a science dissection class. 

Volunteers Lyla Lammert, Breuden and Zack Vanderwall, Seth Gibbs, Lyle Fisher and Jen Fratzke, from the Plains Community Ambulance were on hand with one of their less successful clients, “Mr. Bones.” 

The Sanders County Sheriff’s Office was present with Sherriff Shawn Fielders and Detective April Phillips handing out buckets of candy to the students.

As the day slowly descended into darkness, the streets filled with children of all ages, dressed in the latest and scariest costumes. The first event of the evening was a pumpkin decorating activity, sponsored by the United Methodist Church and the Plains Women’s Club. This was their sixth year organizing the event. Pumpkins lined the tables, waiting for kids to personalize them with stickers and magic markers. 

Fred Young Park came alive with activities including a hotdog roast and costume contest. Sponsored for the 40th year by the Plains Lions Club with club president Steve Spurr directing the evening festivities. 

The evening got off to a rocky start when the evening’s firewood, which had been dropped off the day before for the hotdog roast, was stolen. Thanks to several local individuals the wood was quickly replaced. 

Judging for the costume contest was broken into several age groups, 0-6 years old, 7-12 and 13 years and older. Winners of the 0-6 age group were Emma Caldwell, Grayson Mitchell and Emmalynn Tickner. Age 7-12 winners were Kinzley Halden, Dalatav Holotta, Kiara Brown and Brayson Ridders. Judges’ choice award for the 13 and up was awarded to Alex Horodyski for his self-made costume.

As the evening’s light faded and the cold wind howled, the candy laden children braved the next attraction. It was the appropriately decorated Sunset Hills Funeral Home, complete with a skeleton and homemade casket. Owned and operated by Wayne and Mary Egbert, the funeral home has been opening their scary doors to celebrate Halloween for the last 15 years. Along with the traditional candy, the Egberts passed out hot cider and over 35 dozen doughnuts.

The Alliance Church opened their doors to the community for an evening of activities, including twelve types of games. Children’s Ministry Organizer Kari Vauer, said they had over one hundred children participating in this year’s events.

    Sheriff Shawn Fielders and detective April Phillips hand out candy during the Plains Trunk or Treat event. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
 Tracy Scott 

    Plains School K-6 graders take advantage of the Trunk or Treat event. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
 Tracy Scott 

    Kimberly Giffn stays warm by a fire. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
 Tracy Scott 

    Good Donut Times at the Sunset Hills Funeral Home with owners Wayne and Mary Egbert. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
 Tracy Scott 

    Costume winners Emma Caldwell, Grayson Mitchell, Emma Tichner and Ronan. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
 Tracy Scott 

    Games and fun at the Alliance Church. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
 Tracy Scott 

    Plains streets filled with trick or treaters near Sunset Hills Funeral Home. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
 Tracy Scott 

    Trick or treaters get their fill at the hotdog roast sponsored by the Plains Lion Club. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
 Tracy Scott 

    Lion Club President Steve Spurr at the hotdog roast in Fred Young Park. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
 Tracy Scott 

    Lincoln Boehler decorates a pumpkin at the United Methodist Church in Plains. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
 Tracy Scott 

    Trick or treaters count their stash of candy at Fred Young Park. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)