Hundreds delight in spooky fun

Oct. 24, 2013 @ 10:04 PM

Several hundred kids and grown ups alike may need a little understanding from teachers today after setting homework aside for an evening of play, games, rides, costume contests, face paintings, treats and spook-house fun.

The Henderson-Vance Parks and Recreation Department’s annual Fall Festival Thursday evening at the Aycock Recreation Center was tailor-made for families to take a break from the usual routines. Hopefully, that doesn’t spell trouble in class.

Jordon Medlin, due for a spelling test today, and Clinton Johnson, who also acknowledged side-stepping the books, were delighting in the activities with hundreds of other students.

“I did that and that, and that,” Medlin said, pointing to inflatable attractions and a basketball toss. “And I did the train and the hay ride.”

Medlin said he wasn’t interested in eating anything for supper at about 7 p.m., and he knew that getting ready for his spelling test was also waiting.

His dad, Brian Medlin, had his back on going for more play time.

“I’m having fun with my little boy,” said the father.

“It’s good to be able to get them out of the house,” said Tasha Brodie, whose son Clinton was her joy to watch. “I’m just watching.”

A face painting by local artist Eric Russell was next on their list.

Kelly West said her family was adding the recreation department fall festival to their list of Halloween things to do. She and her husband Brian look for safe Halloween season events for their children Deklan, 6, and Lydia, 2.

“We’ve never brought them out here before,” West said. “We like to come out to fall festivals, trunk-or-treat events, things that are more controlled environments. We don’t do regular trick-or-treating.”

About 25 recreation staff and volunteers, along with watchful assurance from several deputies and police officers, made the three-hour event a “spooky fun” success for young and old alike, according to Crystal Allen, the center’s director who organized the event.

“We had about 600 come out this year,” Allen said. “It was a little less than last year, but a really fun time for everyone.”

Allen said that a shout of thanks is needed for the staff, volunteers and law officers for their help.

“I do want to add a thanks to police officers and deputies who came out and helped us make this a fun and safe event,” Allen said.

Kelly West said safe events are important to her. Another event they look forward to is their annual trick-or-treat adventure to downtown businesses, another safe and supervised event that takes place Thursday on Garnett Street from 4 to 5:30 p.m. for children ages 12 and under.

She added that the Aycock Center visit was, “just a fun time for us,” something to keep on their list for next year.


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