ELIZABETH, NJ – There were princesses, pirates, police officers, fairies, super heroes, and lots of things that go bump in the night marching around Victor Mravlag School 21 to the click, click, click of their parents’ cameras and the continuous strains of It’s a Small World.
It was official: The City of Elizabeth was celebrating Halloween. Throughout the city’s public schools, there were parades, trunk or treats, and harvest festivals. There were parades at School 3, 5, 21, and 50. Trunk or Treats took place at Schools 1, 2, 5, 15, 22, and 28. There was a pumpkin patch at School 14, and the harvest was celebrated at Schools 14, 18, and 27.
But apparently Halloween isn’t only for the young, but the young at heart as well. Dad Alexis Olivero set the bar a lot higher in the There’s Nothing I Won’t Do to Make My Child Happy category. He appeared dressed as the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man. “My son was going to be a ghostbuster, so he told me I had to be this.”
The Sneddon family got into spirit of the holiday as all three were in costume, mom Tiffany, who is a drama teacher at School 7, husband Robert, and two-year-old Mary. Even First Ward Councilman Carlos Torres exchanged his jacket and tie for a Batman suit at his late afternoon Halloween Extravaganza.
Not all the adult participants wore costumes. Cheryl Love and Makensy Marilla spent the afternoon decorating the front lawn of their house at the corner of Harding and Shelley roads. There were all sorts of scary beings designed to frighten in all the fun ways. The display, a favorite in the neighborhood, had been missing for seven years. Asked why she does this, Love’s answer was simple. “I love it. The kids love it, too. I cannot tell you how many times people say they look forward to it. Families and friends really get into it. Wow! This is so worth it … the expressions on people’s faces. They love it.”
Added Marilla, the owner of Mighty Wash Power Washing, “Kids who graduated come back and say they remember this when they were little.”
Second Annual Halloween Extravaganza at Jackson Park
In a day filled with parades, harvest fests and trunk or treats, the biggest event occurred in Jackson Park from 4 to 6 p.m. There was pumpkin decorating, a fun house, hayrides, a fire engines, and the trunks of cars filled with treats. Hundreds of families packed the park. “It is an opportunity for the kids and the community to have a safe haven,” said Batman, a.k.a. Councilman Carlos Torres, who hosted the party. “It would not be possible without the Board of Education, the city, and the county. We have so many teachers and principals here who volunteered their time.”
Halloween is just another example that it truly does take a village.