LAKEHURST – If you wanted some Halloween fun, the borough was the place to go with a “Nightmare on Union Avenue” featuring a parade to the “Horror at Horicon Lake.” It continued on with a trunk or treat event at a nearby church.
Children and adults lined up on Union Avenue at Borough Hall before joining fire trucks and first aid squad vehicles for a brisk march down to Horicon Lake where the judging for best costume in a variety of categories was held.
Kaylyn Kelly, 8, was all smiles as she waited for the start of the parade dressed as a brightly colored purple witch. Her dad Gabriel Kelly sported a T-shirt with a mummy face that stated “I need to unwind.”
“She liked the colors,” Kaylyn’s dad remarked. She was too shy to speak but was excited about her first time attending this borough tradition.
In contrast, the Heath family come out for it every year. “I wanted him to be the Grinch,” Samantha Heath said referring to her 3-year-old son Carter who was in a mini-Santa sleigh dressed as tiny Kris Kringle. “I ordered the costume for the Grinch but he saw it and he said he wanted to be Santa so I rolled with it.”
“He told me no face paint,” she laughed. “My stepdad made the sleigh and that took a couple of hours.” That effort helped win Carter first place in one of the costume categories.
Working together as an adorable sibling duo were Asher Phillips, 4, dressed as a magician and his 2-year-old sister Kambri costumed as a rabbit. Their mother Theresa Phillips said, “this is the first time for the parade in a long time.”
There were a variety of witches on the street in various colored 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 was also marching along the parade route and there were two brothers dressed as Spider-Man one being the original Peter Parker version, the other, Miles Morales with their respective costumes.
The McCann family clearly enjoy Halloween with mom and dad dressed as well but their children took on the super hero theme of Harley Quinn, Spider-man, and Deadpool and a zombie for good measure. Dad (Shane McCann) was dressed as Jack from “A Nightmare Before Christmas. Mom (Marlena McCann) sported 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 had a mini-UPS truck as well. There was a Mandalorian from Star Wars, a devil and princess plus a rather menacing Michael Myers from the Halloween horror film franchise.
As they arrived at the lake, the marchers started their orbit around the coned area of the parking lot as Mayor Harry Robbins and Councilmen Gary Lowe and Brian DiMeo began the difficult process of judging the various categories. “I do this every year and it is not easy,” the mayor remarked.
Councilman James Davis joined them later but was able to avoid the difficult task of choosing cutest, scariest, best duo and other categories. The winners received cash awards in the borough sponsored event.
Refreshments were served afterwards and a short time later, many of those present for this event trekked for treats and more Halloween fun over at the second annual Proving Ground Halloween Trunk or Treat. Pastor Nick Daleo said “we got permission from the town to hold a hayride this year using the trails up the street. We also have 170 pumpkins that were donated to us.”
“We have doubled or tripled the number of cars for our trunk or treat. We have 20. Last year we had five or six,” the pastor added. Ironically, one of those pit stops for treats involved Santa Claus (this time regular sized) with a car that was set up as Santa’s roadside toy workshop.
“We also invited the PTA out this year and we have 45 church members helping out today,” the pastor added. Church member Jack McGinnis decorated his crimson hot rod with a ghoulish skeleton and a ghost emerging from the trunk. Another popular stop was a cotton candy stand manned by other members of the church.