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Halloween in Marysville offers fun for kids of all ages

MARYSVILLE — Halloween celebrations in Marysville stretched across three days over the weekend, with a number of community festivities on Oct. 29 and 30 leading up to the big day itself.

On Oct. 29, Marshall Elementary and Jennings Park offered younger children and tweens opportunities to show off their outfits and stay on their feet for an evening of active entertainment.

Marshall Elementary replaced its annual fall harvest party with a “Monster Mash” in the school gym, where kids and adults alike could dance to spooky songs, while Jennings Park once again served as the venue of the “Haunted Egg Hunt” for kids in their pre-teens and early teens after dark.

“This year has seen our biggest response from the community yet,” said Marshall Elementary PTSA Secretary Terrie Wells, who noted that the event raised more than $1,000 for the PTSA and received 20 baskets of donated raffle prize packages from as many local businesses and merchants. “That’s more successful than we’ve been in years past, and it’s a nice surprise in our current economy.”

Christina Allen accompanied daughters Stephanie and Rebecca to the Monster Mash, where they strutted their stuff dressed as a bumblebee and a ladybug.

“I like that it gives them something to do,” said Allen, whose girls had attended the school’s harvest parties for years prior. “They can put on their costumes and come see their friends and everyone else.”

That same evening, dozens of kids aged 11-15 shrieked up a storm as they prowled the fields and community garden of Jennings Park to scoop up plastic eggs for the prizes inside.

“Three older kids volunteered to scare them in costume,” said Marysville Parks Athletic Coordinator Dave Hall, who added that 1,975 of the 2,000 eggs contained candy, while the remaining 25 contained gift cards and coupons donated by Kung Fu 4 Kids.

Twins Andy and Riley Hougan turned 13 years old on Oct. 28 and brought their birthday party to the egg hunt, with several friends in tow. Although a few members of the party were old hands at the hunt, many were taking part for the first time this year, including Cindy Schultz’s sons, Ben and Jesse.

“I love that I can just let them run,” Cindy Schultz laughed.

“I found a whole gold mine of eggs right behind the barn doors,” said fellow first-timer Gage Hazel, 11, about his technique.

Although she screamed a few times when confronted with masked boogeymen in the garden, 12-year-old Courtney Klawuhn claimed later to have been only “scared-ish.”

On Oct. 30, trick-or-treating returned to Third Street, as a number of downtown merchants donned festive disguises and decorated their stores appropriately for the season to hand out candy to hundreds of superheroes, supernatural creatures and other characters.

Hilton Pharmacy owner Mary Kirkland initially mistook Hannah Hicks for a fellow cowgirl, until the girl explained that her pink ensemble was a Musketeer outfit, complete with boots made out of duct tape.

“I’m surprised by the number of folks who have come out on Halloween eve for this,” said Kirkland, as rain poured down on the crowded sidewalks. “We’ll probably approach 300 trick-or-treaters this year, about the same as last year.”

“I didn’t think we’d see anyone today,” said Marja Oosterwyk, whose Dutch bakery had families literally lined up around the block for their goodie bags.

The Simpson family has lived in Marysville for five years, but this marked their first time trick-or-treating on Third Street.

“Grandma was in town from Wisconsin, so we wanted to do something special as a family here in Marysville,” said mom Summer Simpson.

“I got lots of candy,” said daughter Evelyn Simpson, 6. “This is the best Halloween ever.”

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