Hearnes Center Halloween event entertains local children, parents

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 | 10:10 p.m. CDT
Children played games and celebrated Halloween at Tiger Night of Fun on Wednesday at Hearnes Center. The event provided an alternative for trick-or-treating outside.

COLUMBIA — It’s the big dilemma children across the world face annually — what do they dress up as for Halloween?

Like many other children, Alexis Lander, 7, one of the attendees at the city’s annual "Tiger Night of Fun", was no exception. She looked at being different characters from the kid's show "Monster High" and tried on multiple costumes at the store.

Alexis settled on Abbey Bominable, a character from the show.

"I like the wig," Alexis said after visiting the face painting booth to get a blue peace sign on her cheek.

Melissa Lander, Alexis' mother, said she decided to try to the Hearnes Center's event this year to stay safe and do something different.

"I thought it was a lot safer to be inside than out and about," Lander said.

Although Alexis wanted to also go trick-or-treating with her friends, Lander said it was easy to get her daughter to attend.

"She was easily convinced to come do this," she said.

"Because that way I don’t have to be in the cold," Alexis said.

Janel Twehous, recreation supervisor for the city of Columbia, said last year, a record-breaking 4,900 people attended the event. Twehous has worked for the city and worked on this event for the past 18 years.

During the “Tiger Night of Fun,” the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse lights were dimmed, only to be illuminated by lights from the different booths, featuring games such as bowling, hula hooping and a bounce house. Of 75 total booths, community participants included Boone County 4-H, the Biomedical Engineering Society, KinderCare, the Columbia Kiwanis Club and Landmark Bank.

The official sponsors of the event included the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department, the Activity and Recreation Center, the MU Athletics Department, Walmart, KFUR 1400 and KPLA 101.5, according to a flier.

Supervising editor is John Schneller.

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