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A howling fun Halloween in Sanbornton



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Claire and Elise Bartley, 5 and 3, await their turn to pick treats after playing the beanbag toss at Sanbornton Recreation Department’s Halloween Party Saturday. See story and more photos on B1. Meghan Siegler. (click for larger version)
November 04, 2009
SANBORNTON — Winged creatures, a father-daughter Papa Smurf and Smurfette, and a baby white tiger mingled with vampires, monsters and ghosts at Sanbornton's Halloween party Saturday.

Sponsored by the Sanbornton Recreation Department, the annual party is held in Sanbornton Central School's gym, which was once again transformed into a dark and spooky haunted haven.

Renee Bartley, who teaches at Sanbornton Central, brought daughters Claire, 5, and Elise, 3, for the first time.

"This is very cool," Bartley said. "I never knew that they did this much down here."

"This much" included games like a beanbag toss, a donut-eating contest, bowling, a hula hoop toss, and balloon darts. Win or lose, each player got to pick a treat at the end of the game.

Tables were set up with other activities, including an arts-and-crafts station and a table with unfrosted cupcakes and cookies waiting to be decorated. Another table was covered with treats brought by the families who attended – part of what helps keep the two-hour event free of charge.

"It doesn't cost a lot to do this party," said Rec Director Julie Lonergan, who has been storing plastic pumpkins and scads of Halloween decorations since last season. "I take everybody's leftover stuff … Walmart was very generous last year."

Walmart gave the rec department leftover costumes last year as well, which Lonergan handed out to families in need earlier in the month.

"There's a lot of those costumes here today," Lonergan said.

Also helping keep things free is the Winnisquam Regional High School Student Council. According to Lonergan, the Student Council helped decorate the whole gym, helped set up and later clean up, and ran most of the activities.

Keelin Dougherty played fortune-teller for the event, with a constant stream of children entering her tent to have their fortunes told.

"They put both hands on the table, and my ball gets to pick up what's in their future," Dougherty said.

Siblings Faith, 6, and Duncan Gosselin, 4, had their fortunes told, though Duncan was hesitant at first.

"He was afraid of the fortune teller," mom Irene Gosselin said.

A few treats once their fortunes were read had both kids smiling as they left the tent.

At the crafts table, Wendy DeVoy watched as her 8-year-old daughter Maggie made a face on her pumpkin cutout.

"We come every year," said DeVoy, who thinks it's a good chance for the kids to see each other all dressed up. "We don't have a Halloween party here at school."

Lonergan said one of the bonuses of having an indoor Halloween celebration is that the children can wear their costumes without having to worry about bundling coats on top – and parents don't have to worry about the dangers of trick-or-treating.

"It's a very safe environment," Lonergan said. "It's good community."

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