Some trick-or-treaters got to take advantage of a head start during the school day.
On Wednesday, students at Lincoln Elementary School got an early start on Halloween as the school celebrated its All Day Halloween Fun Fair. The event took place in the gymnasium from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and provided kids with a variety of fun activities, games and treats all within the confines of their own school.
The Halloween Fun Fair is sponsored and hosted by Lincoln's Parent-Teacher Association along with several volunteers. According to MaryAnn DePasquale, president of the PTA, the fun fair is a big deal at Lincoln.
Lincoln Elementary School students wait in line to play one of many games offered at Wednesday’s Halloween Fun Fair.
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"This is by far the biggest event that we host throughout the year," said DePasquale. "We start planning before the school year starts because it's such a big event. We have to gather up volunteers and send out donation letters. We greatly appreciate all of the donations we receive and the volunteers that help us on their own family time. Our parent volunteers are extremely important to us."
The fun fair was open to the entire school, which serves students from universal pre-kindergarten to grade 4. Each grade was given an alloted 30-minute time slot to attend. Parents and younger siblings were welcomed to participate as well.
According to PTA members Tammy Nordwall and Danielle Bowers, who coordinated the event along with Melissa Williamson, the Halloween fun fair is very much a community-based effort and an evolving process.
"There are many companies in the community who donate money and supplies," said Nordwall. "For example, Wegmans and Tops donated all the juice, Farm Fresh donated the donuts for the classroom parties and both Welder's Supply and Jamestown Hydroponics donated the helium for the balloons."
"I think everything's gone a lot smoother this year," said Bowers. "We've shortened the time up a little bit so they can have more structure, they're not being rushed or getting bored."
Regardless of which day it falls on, the All Day Halloween Fun Fair at Lincoln provides a time of excitement and enjoyment for both students and adults every year. It helps to assure that kids get an opportunity to celebrate Halloween despite the poor weather conditions that Western New York often experiences on Oct. 31. But according to MaryAnn DePasquale, it can also provide something more meaningful to parents.
"A lot of working parents don't get to see their kids during the day very often," said DePasquale. "They drop them off at school in the morning and then only get to see them in the evening after school. The fun fair gives parents an opportunity to come and spend time with their child during school hours and have fun with them."