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Halloween party continues tradition

Family fun, games and activities, and food will be the main attractions when the annual Community Halloween Party, sponsored by Youth First, Hastings Parks and Recreation, Hastings Community Education, and Hastings YMCA, is held from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, in the Hastings High School commons area, 200 General Sieben Drive. More than 1,000 kids attended last year's party.

"We think Halloween should be a great family experience," said Youth First executive director Ann Grotjohn. "We can help develop positive assets through the games and activities.

"We have some safety activities like the Trick or Treat street - Wayne Hicks and Tom Connell (school liaison officers) will talk about being safe and which houses to go to when you are out Halloween night. Then, we give out Glowsticks for them to have that night."

The annual community party is held on a different night that Halloween for an important reason, Grotjohn said.

"We are encouraging people to get to know their neighbors," she said. "We want them to make the connections and they can help to do that when they go trick or treating in their neighborhoods."

The community Halloween party is a family-friendly event for kids 12 and younger. Family-friendly costumes are encouraged.

The evening includes food - pizza, popcorn and apples; games, and prizes. Games and activities include pumpkin ring toss, boo basketball, spooky spin, a craft activity coordinated by the YMCA, and a witching well.

New this year will be an exhibit from the Minnesota Zoo. Halloween-themed animals have been invited to attend. A haunted hallway complete with fog machine will be set up in the school.

Volunteers are needed to help with the games and activities. Cash and prize donations are also appreciated. For more information call 480-6182 or e-mail Grotjohn at agrotjohn@ci.hastings.

"Our community has been, and continues to be so generous," said Grotjohn. "We could not do this without their support."

Admission to the party is a nonperishable food item or cash donation for the Hastings Family Service food shelf.


is next evening

The annual HarvestFest, sponsored by the Harbor Church, Kids Kare Center and Pine Harbor Academy will also be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, at the church, 11125 W. Pt Douglas Road (four miles north of Hastings on Highway 61). HarvestFest has been held at the Harbor for more than 10 years and has become a tradition for area families. It is estimated about 1,000 people attend the party, which is coordinated by about 100 volunteers.

Admission is a bag of candy - the candy is distributed throughout the evening.

Different areas of the building are designated for various activities and ages. One room is designated for carnival games for the children. Candy and prizes will be given.

Another room is specifically for the preschool children. The games here are for that age level. Again there is candy and prizes.

The church's large gym is for the inflatable equipment the children can jump on, such as the large Titanic Adventure Slide, and the obstacle course. Other smaller inflatable games will also be set up in the room.

Food will be available for purchase that evening.

Costumes are encouraged, but of the non-scary and nonviolent variety.

For more information, call 437-9770.

Rio Gran party planned

Rio Gran, 16440 Fischer Ave., has indoor trick or treating planned for Oct. 28 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.