The forecast for Halloween is cold, but the people of Hillsdale County and surrounding areas can trick or treat indoors at the 41st annual Hillsdale County Halloween Party in the Hillsdale High School Cafeteria on Oct. 31.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the evening’s activities will begin with a costume competition at 7 p.m. Admission for the event is free, and costume contestants will have the chance to win various gift certificates for the best costume.
Event organizer Ted Jansen said he split the costume competition into “about 17 different age brackets with three judges each” to ensure better results.
“If I get college kids to come in costume, then I would open up a category for them too,” Jansen added.
As far as judging selection goes, anyone can be a judge by just showing up at the event.
In addition to the costume competition, there will be a performance from visiting magician Count Spooky and a visit from the princesses of the Liberty Princess Company.
Founder and Director of the Liberty Princess Company Gianna Marchese said the company is made up of over 30 volunteers from the college who spend their weekends and some weekdays going to various community events, like the Halloween party, “teaching kids what it means to be a princess.”
Jansen said the Liberty Princesses have come to the event for the last three years and party attendees always enjoy the princesses — especially little girls who are dressed just like them.
“Last year there was a young girl dressed as Princess Elsa from Frozen who was so excited to see the grown-up Elsa that she wanted to stay with the Liberty Princess the whole evening,” Jansen said.
Throughout the evening, guests can also enjoy refreshments provided by several local businesses.
The St. Anthony’s Knights of Columbus will grill several hundred hot dogs for attendees and will hand out apple cider and donuts provided by Meckley’s Flavor Fruit Farm.
On the way out, kids will receive candy in normal trick-or-treating fashion.
The Halloween party is a family-friendly event that Jansen said “has become a generational thing.”
“The neatest thing is that we have grandparents who came as kids and now come with their grandchildren,” Jansen said.