Anyone can get into the spirit of Halloween, both young and old. Each year, children dress up in costumes designed to spook or scare and go out trick-or-treating. But for adults, celebrating the holiday usually means pulling out the pumpkins and cobwebs, witches hats and skeletons and decorating their homes for Halloween.
That’s what this year’s Halloween Festive House Decorating House Contest in Gurnee is all about. Each year, the Gurnee Park District hosts its annual event open to all residents in north Waukegan -Countryside subdivision, Continental Village, Hickory Hills, and Hickory Road Manner developments west of Delany Road.
The spirit of Halloween is in full display, as participants utilize lights, sounds, live actors and animation to make their decorations come alive.
Back in the 1920’s and 30’s, the celebration of Halloween had become less about ghosts, pranks and witchcraft like it had been when the holiday became more widely practiced in colonial New England. Instead it evolved into a holiday that involved community and get-togethers with neighbors. Most often the events included games, seasonal foods and holiday costumes. Many towns had parades and large community-sponsored parties in observance of Halloween.
Community-wide events were eventually moved to the home and trick-or-treating was revived from the early traditions. It was a way for neighborhoods to celebrate as a whole, while handing out small treats to children.
Today, every year on October 31, people use images of witches, ghosts, goblins, bats, black cats and cauldrons to celebrate the holiday and out-Boo their neighbors. Gurnee residents will have the chance to show off their holiday best and receive an award for the best decorated house.
It’s free to sign up and registration is required. Judges will begin making their rounds at 4pm Thursday, October 26. Participants must register before Tuesday October 24.
Anthony Buick is looking forward to seeing the winners of this year's Halloween Festive House Decorating Contest. Announcements will be made on Friday, October 27.