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‘The candy is a plus for parents:’ Families find fun at Hamilton Halloween event

Spooks and scares abounded at Gore Park’s Halloween Spooktacular Friday (Oct. 27) as crowds of kids and parents attended the family-friendly event.

Children dressed up as everything from aliens and anime characters to cats and cowboys lined up to ride the spinning pumpkin carnival ride while workers at the event handed out candy. 

“It’s been a fun time,” Alan Morcke, a visitor at the event dressed up as Jason from Friday the 13th, said. “It’s fun for the kids, they like the rides and to see the organizers dressed up. The candy is a plus for the parents too, I don’t have to sneak as much from their trick-or-treat stash this year.” 

The event had a wandering magician performing for the kids, an entertainer making balloon animals and a spinning wheel full of prizes for visitors to bring home. 

Volunteers dressed as Spiderman and Mirabel from Encanto hosted a superhero and princess costume contest at 6:30 p.m. and a pirate contest an hour later. 

Some attendees found that the event helped make up for Halloween’s awkward timing this year. 

“With [Halloween] being on a Tuesday, having something like this on the weekend is great,” Beth de Jong said. “The kids get into the Halloween spirit and they get to stay up a little later than they would on a school night. It’s a perfect day for it too, I’m glad the weather held out and stayed nice and warm.”

Face painting booths turned visitors into monsters, superheroes, butterflies and pirates while a busy pumpkin decorating table invited attendees to paint and take home.

Entertainers posed with visitors throughout the event, including several costumed characters on stilts.

The kids weren’t the only ones in costume, as entertainers on stilts wandered the event to pose for photos.

Halloween events will continue to take place around Hamilton until Oct. 31, including ghost walks, a carnival at the Cotton Factory and Pumpkinfest at Merry Farms.

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