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Fun for Halloween: Dickinson events offered for children

Press Photo by Linda Sailer Savannah Sevier drops a ping pong ball into a glass during a carnival game at Freedom Baptist Fellowship on Wednesday. Looking on are her brothers, Connor and Detric Coleman. The game is among those planned for the Harvest Festival on Wednesday.

Adults may remember their scary masks and walking down darken streets to go trick-or-treating during Halloween.

Over the years, fewer children have been seen on the streets -- instead, they're having fun at community events.

Carol Carlson, Dickinson, remembers trick-or-treating when her children were little.

"We used to go out for Halloween, but now that they're older, things have gotten ghoulish and not entirely for little kids," she said. "They don't know what's behind that mask."

This year, she is volunteering for the Harvest Festival at Freedom Baptist Fellowship. She expects her grandson will be attending.

"This is a good alternative for families who would like something different for the little ones," she said.

The Dickinson community-sponsored events include:

Harvest Festival

Freedom Baptist Fellowship is hosting its fifth annual Harvest Festival for the children of the community.

The festival is 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at 211 21st St. E.

"Our Harvest Festival is a community outreach and it also provides a safe place for our kids to be on Oct. 31," said Kristin Sevier, wife of Pastor Jerry Sevier. "Our intent is it provides a safe alternative for the dark traditions of Halloween."

The free festival features a variety of games including a Nerf blast, a leaf fall, ping pong toss, candy corn drop and a box maze.

"We will have a huge Goliath that kids can throw a ball at, trying to hit him between the eyes -- the kids always love playing the part of David," Sevier said.

Local businesses have donated prizes for the games.

"Each year it gets bigger, but most important, our kids look forward to helping set up and having a fun evening with their friends," Sevier said.

Boo Hawks

Dickinson State University is hosting "Boo Hawks" as a Halloween event for the public from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday in DSU May Hall.

The free event will feature Buster the "Boo Hawk" and visits from past key influencers of DSU.

Children are encouraged to dress in costumes to receive candy and to visit with DSU faculty, staff and students.

Coloring sheets will be distributed to elementary schools prior to the event. Children may drop off their sheets to Buster to be eligible for a prize.

Public library

The Dickinson Area Public Library is celebrating Halloween with several activities for children and their families.

Children ages infant to 6 are invited to dress in costumes while attending "Story Time Spooktacular" from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Wednesday. Children may listen to spooky stories, play games and make creepy crafts. Treats will be provided.

The older children, ages preschool through elementary, also are encouraged to dress in costumes for a "Kid's Halloween Hoopla" party from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The party includes spooky snacks, games and kooky crafts. Children should be accompanied by an adult.

A free family movie titled "The Pirates: Band of Misfits" starts at 4 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

Children may trick-or-treat at the library all afternoon and evening.

"We do not want to steal attention from the other Halloween activities -- we wanted another thing children can hit on their way to trick-or-treating," children's librarian Lane Heid said. "We'll be dressed up so come in costumes. It will be fun for everybody."


Prairie Hills Mall is hosting its annual "Malloween" from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Participating retailers will be distributing candy, said Peggy O'Brien, Prairie Hills Mall property manager.

St. Benedict's

St. Benedict's Health Center is hosting its annual Halloween carnival from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday in the community room.

Children may walk around a big loop where residents give out candy. At each corner, children may try for a larger carnival prize.

The residents also dress in costumes, activity director Dani Russell said.

"It's one of their favorite holidays," she said.

Treat Street

Children will have a safe environment for trick-or-treating when they attend Treat Street at the Ramada Grand Dakota Lodge.

Treat Street is 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday. Families are asked to line up at the east entrance where they will be directed to the Legends and Freedom ballrooms, depending on the ages of the children.

Area businesses were invited to make a donation or set up a table to distribute treats for the children. Last year, more than 2,000 children visited Treat Street.

"We're thinking it will be quite a bit more because we've expanded to four hours," Ramada human resources coordinator Nicole Darnell said. "It's really a fun and enjoyable event and it's great to be part of the community. We enjoy seeing the kids coming through with their costumes."

Halloween Carnival

The Dickinson Parks and Recreation Department is hosting its annual Halloween Carnival in conjunction with Treat Street this year.

When children come to the Ramada Grand Dakota Lodge for Treat Street, they will be directed to the Grand Dakota Ballroom where carnival games are being played.

The games are intended for children in third grade and younger, said Wilson McLaughlin, parks and recreation supervisor.

Volunteers will assist with the games. The event is 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Reaper's Keep

The Reaper's Keep Haunted Barn is open from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Wednesday. The barn is one mile south of Loaf & Lug, Dickinson. Admission is $5.

The Haunted Barn is not intended for young children. Children ages 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.