Four Schuyler-area organizations are planning a series of Halloween events that promise to get people into the spooky spirit.

First, the Colfax County Senior Center is hosting a costume contest at 5 p.m. Oct. 30. The event, dubbed “The Greatest Halloween Costume Contest of All Time,” is being used by The Center’s management as a way to introduce people to all of the things that the place offers.

“We figured this would be a way for the general public to come in and have some fun,” The Center Manager Aubrie Friesen said. “It’s family-oriented, so couples with children can come in and have a meal, have fun, hang out and hopefully, win one of our prize trophies.”

Competitors in the contest will be placed in three categories, depending on their entry: Men, women and family/couple. Those visiting can vote for their favorite and whoever is the choice of the people gets one of the three trophies.

The idea for the contest came from similar events held at The Center in the past. Those events were popular enough, with several of The Center’s regulars participating. A suggestion from Jerry and Rose Mundil and Lloyd and Betty Brichacek helped bring the event back.

“They were the ones who spearheaded it,” Friesen said. “They asked if we wouldn’t mind doing something like a costume contest and having some fun with Halloween.”

In addition to costumes, food will also be plentiful, with a delectable spread of sloppy joes, baked beans, potato chips and a series of desserts brought forth by event volunteers. Friesen said she hopes to have 100-125 people come in and enjoy the fun.

It’s an event that anyone can join in, not just senior citizens. Friesen’s own family is entered in the family portion of the contest.

“The Center is actually open to anyone who wants to come in,” Friesen said. “With our fundraisers, we try to keep it open to the general population. People can come in and see what the building and our volunteers have to offer.”

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From 6-8 p.m. Halloween night (Oct. 31), the Schuyler Area Chamber of Commerce, First Presbyterian Church and the Warrior Academy at Schuyler Elementary School are teaming up to host a community Halloween party at the school.

Each of the three organizations held separate events last year, which led to a combination of the three this year in an effort to provide a good environment for families to enjoy the Halloween festivities.

“Last year, the chamber hosted a Trunk or Treat in the Senior Center parking lot,” said Jackie Farrell, executive director of the Schuyler Area Chamber of Commerce. “We want to give everybody someplace safe to go trick or treating where parents can bring their children to give them a great opportunity in a safe location to trick or treat.”

Area businesses are assisting with the undertaking, which will allow for parents to get candy from car trunks parked in the parking lot at Schuyler Elementary and go inside to the school’s gym for other people to provide candy. It’s one way for people to become more accustomed to Schuyler and those who support it, like the chamber, First Presbyterian and the Academy.

“We don’t live in town, so when we go trick or treating, we don’t know who lives where,” Farrell said. “Trunk or Treat has been very popular with us when we go into town. We’ll have a lot of businesses participating, so this gives them a chance to showcase their business and they can meet some people too.”

Just like The Center’s event, there will be plenty of food available, with hot dogs and caramel apples available to eat. For parents, it will be an easy way for their kids to whet their appetites for candy while also relieving the stress of traveling from house to house on that night.

“It’s multiple places they can stop (in) at one time,” Farrell said. “They don’t have to go from place to place, you don’t have to get little ones in and out of the car multiple times. There will be free food, plenty of candy, lots and lots of costumes and Halloween decorations all over. I think it will be lots of fun. We enjoyed last year seeing all the fun costumes. Even the adults in the costumes, (that) was a lot of fun.”

Zach Roth is a reporter for the Schuyler Sun. Reach him via email at zachary.roth@lee.net.

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Zach Roth is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at zachary.roth@lee.net.