Trick-or-treating found a new meaning for Hillsdale residents during the annual citywide Halloween event, which featured a costume contest, a magic show, and free snacks.
The event, held on Oct. 27 at Hillsdale High School, drew nearly 200 locals dressed in a variety of costumes, ranging from superheros to roadside attractions.
Parker Falke, 7, dressed as a ball of yarn and said the inspiration for his unique costume came from a road trip his family had taken.
“I was thinking about weird places we had been,” Parker said. “and there was this one place with a giant ball of yarn.”
Parker’s younger sister accompanied him, dressed as a map of the United States. According to the siblings, their costumes took about two weeks to make and required help from their parents.
“My mom helped me a lot,” Parker said. “But it was my idea.”
The event allowed kids to show off their costumes in a contest with various age categories. Three year old Savanna French participated in the toddlers’ category dressed as an airplane.
“She wants to be a pilot when she grows up,” Nikki French, Savanna’s mother, said. “We went to an airshow this summer and saw the Thunderbirds fly, and she decided that’s what she wanted to do.”
The annual trick-or-treating event allows children, and accompanying adults, to parade around proudly in their new costumes, according to Hillsdale resident Laurel Fazekas, who dressed up as Batwoman.
“I’ve attended this event since my daughter was born. She’s 11 now,” Fazekas said. “My favorite part is seeing all the kids dressed up. They enjoy it every year.”
According to eight-year-old Jakob Malachi, the thing he looked forward to most was dressing up as Dracula.
“I was Spiderman last year, but it got all ripped up and thrown away,” Jakob said. “Dracula is better than Spiderman anyways. Mostly because of the cape.”
Hillsdale resident Katie Smith attended the event for the first time and said she was glad she came.
“It’s better than going to random houses,” Smith said.
Volunteers handed out treats such as hot dogs, cookies, cupcakes, ciders and donuts as locals walked into the high school’s auditorium.
The event also featured a magic show put on by Count Spooky, or performing magician Jim Carmody, who has been performing various magic tricks for over 17 years.
“My first show was in fourth grade,” Carmody said. “Usually I perform for more adults than kids.”
Carmody involved kids of all ages in the show, bringing them up on stage to help him perform acts like his “vanishing birds” trick, which according to Carmody is one of his favorites.
The Ghostbusters theme song played in the background as Count Spooky jumped on stage and yelled “Happy Halloween, Hillsdale!”
The magician tried to involve the parents in the magic show as well. Holding up a Donald Trump mask, Count Spooky drew applause accompanied by occasional “boos” from adults, and wild laughter from children.
According to Hillsdale resident and parent Laura Titus, the magic show is the best part of the event.
“The kids love it,” she said. “It’s definitely their favorite part.”
According to Carmody, who performs over 350 magic shows a year, the event needs more volunteers, especially because of the growing number of children who attend.
“It’s Halloween, though” Carmody said. “It’s always fun.”