LAKEHURST – If you wanted some fun on Halloween, the Borough was the place to go with a “Nightmare on Union Avenue” with a parade for “Horror at Horicon Lake”. This continued with a trunk or treat event at a nearby church.
Children and adults lined up on Union Avenue in Borough Hall before joining the fire trucks and first aid team vehicles for a brisk walk to Lake Horicon where the judgment for best costume in a variety of categories was occurred.
8-year-old Kaylyn Kelly was all smiles as she waited for the parade to begin dressed as a brightly colored purple witch. Her father Gabriel Kelly wore a T-shirt with a mummy face that read “I need to relax”.
“She loved the colors,” Kaylyn’s dad remarked. She was too shy to speak but was excited about her first participation in this borough tradition.
The Heath family, on the other hand, comes out every year. “I wanted him to be the Grinch,” said Samantha Heath, referring to her 3-year-old son, Carter, who was in a mini Santa’s sleigh dressed as little Kris Kringle. “I ordered the costume for the Grinch but he saw it and he said he wanted to be Santa Claus so I rolled around with it.”
“He told me there was no face makeup,” she said with a laugh. “My stepfather made the sled and it took a few hours. This effort saw Carter take first place in one of the costume categories.
Asher Phillips, 4, dressed as a magician, and her 2-year-old sister Kambri, dressed as a bunny, worked together as an adorable duo of siblings. Their mother Theresa Phillips said: “This is the first time in a long time for the parade.”
There were a variety of witches on the street in various colorful costumes. Zombies were also popular this year and there were at least three young girls dressed as Harley Quinn, the popular Batman / Suicide Squad character. Batman also walked along the parade route and there were two brothers dressed as Spider-Man, one being the original version of Peter Parker, the other Miles Morales in their respective costumes.
The McCann family is clearly enjoying Halloween with mom and dad dressed up as well, but their kids have adopted the Harley Quinn, Spider-man and Deadpool superhero theme and a zombie for good measure. Papa (Shane McCann) was disguised as Jack from “A Nightmare Before Christmas”. Mom (Marlena McCann) wore a bright orange Halloween shirt.
There was a boy dressed as a UPS delivery man who not only had a package in his hands, but also a mini UPS truck. There was a Star Wars Mandalorian, a Devil, and a Princess as well as a rather menacing Michael Myers from the Halloween horror movie franchise.
Upon arriving at the lake, the walkers began their orbit around the conical area of the parking lot as Mayor Harry Robbins and Councilors Gary Lowe and Brian DiMeo began the difficult process of judging the different categories. “I do it every year and it’s not easy,” the mayor noted.
Councilor James Davis joined them later, but was able to avoid the difficult task of picking the cutest, scariest, best duo, and other categories. The winners received cash prizes at the event sponsored by the borough.
Refreshments were served afterward and soon after, many of those attending this event marched for treats and more Halloween fun at the second edition of the Proving Ground Halloween Trunk or Treat. Pastor Nick Daleo said, “We have obtained permission from the city to organize a cart ride this year using the trails that lead up the street. We also have 170 pumpkins given to us.
“We have doubled or tripled the number of cars for our trunk or our treat. We have 20. Last year we had five or six, ”added the pastor. Ironically, one of those pit stops for treats involved Santa Claus (this time full-sized) with a car that was set up as Santa’s roadside toy workshop.
“We also invited the PTA this year and we have 45 church members helping us today,” the pastor added. Church member Jack McGinnis decorated his crimson hot rod with a macabre skeleton and a ghost emerging from the trunk. Another popular stop was a cotton candy stand run by other church members.