Parks and Rec sweet on Halloween celebrations

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published October 16, 2013

SYLVAN LAKE — ’Tis the season for haunted houses, pumpkin patches, trick-or-treating and spooky movies, and this year, local parks and recreation commissions are hosting Halloween festivities for residents Oct. 25.

The Sylvan Lake committee has hosted its Halloween party for six years and is a residents-only event.

“This is probably one of our biggest events, next to our Easter egg hunt, for our community,” said Terri Etter, secretary for the city’s Parks and Recreation Committee. “It’s always a big turnout for the city, and this year being on a Friday night before Halloween, we anticipate a lot of patrons coming out.”

The party will take place 7-9 p.m. at the Community Center, and while the event is free, residents are asked to bring a small dish to pass. Cider, water and coffee will be offered by the committee.

Most years, 50-60 kids attend the event, but at its peak, there were 100 kids, making the Halloween party the most successful event for kids in the city, said Patrick Runk, chairperson for the committee.

“As far as the kids are concerned, we have a costume contest that will be broken down by ages, as well as a costume parade, musical chairs, bobbing for apples and a kid-friendly movie playing,” Etter said. 

In addition, the Sylvan Lake Police Department will be discussing safety tips for Halloween night and their candy-checking program.

The Halloween party has been well received, and each year, more patrons attend, Etter explained.

“It’s a nice bonding experience for everyone in the city,” she said.

West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Commission will host its annual Trick-or-Treat Trail 6:30-8 p.m. at Marshbank Park.

“We used to do an indoor Halloween event, but last year was the first year we took it outside to Marshbank,” said Megan Kurnat, Parks and Recreation Commission public information coordinator.

The community event, where kids can collect goodies from costumed characters and local businesses and organizations, is open to those 3 and older.

“We don’t charge the businesses anything to participate. Basically, all they have to do is show up. If it’s a really small business, and they can’t afford the money to get toys or candy, we’ll provide it for them,” Kurnat said.

In addition to trick-or-treating, cider and doughnuts will be provided for attendees in the Marshbank Lodge.

“The fun part about this event is it integrates community groups with businesses,” said Nancy Keener, recreation coordinator. “It’s one big community event, versus just putting it on by ourselves.”

More people attended the event last year, which changed from a carnival to a trick-or-treat trail, as people identify better with the trail, according to Keener.

West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation strives for a nonfrightening event, so businesses are asked to wear kid-friendly costumes and plan on enough candy or toys for 350 kids.

Registration is required to attend the Trick-or-Treat Trail and costs $6 per child for early registration. Limited onsite registration will be available based on space, costing $10 per child. Each child registered will receive a bag at the registration check-in to collect their goodies.

Those who wish to attend can register by calling (248) 451-1900 or visiting