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‘A great day’ for a spooky fun time during Halloween weekend

Lots of community events throughout area

Photo by Deb Gau Madden Craigmile and Kobi Carstensen hopped up on a picnic table to get a better look as they each picked out a candy at a trick-or-treating stop at Southwest Minnesota State University Residence HALLoween.

MARSHALL — Halloween was technically still a day away, but that didn’t stop area families out looking for treats and fun. On Saturday afternoon, a steady flow of trick-or-treaters walked up and down Main Street in their costumes, making stops at businesses giving out candy and goodies.

Julie Philippe said a lot of kids had showed up at her trick-or-treating stop this year.

“It’s a great day for it,” Philippe said. It was sunny and warm through the early afternoon.

With Halloween falling on a weekend this year, there were lots of community events geared toward the holiday. In Marshall, kids could go to “trunk or treat” events hosted by local churches, trick or treat downtown, or attend Halloween-themed celebrations.

Some of the weekend’s events were making a return, a year after COVID-19 put a pause on community gatherings. At the campus of Southwest Minnesota State University, students were once again organizing kids’ games and crafts as part of Residence HALLoween.

“It’s been fun, especially since we didn’t get to do this last year,” said SMSU student Emily Burns.

This year, activities at SMSU were held outdoors where there was plenty of fresh air and space. Although the afternoon turned cold and windy later on, costumed kids still lined up for cotton candy and treats, or to play games like pumpkin bowling.

“It’s a pretty good turnout for as cold as it’s been,” Burns said.

Another event making a comeback on Saturday was the Marshall Area YMCA’s Halloween carnival. In the gymnasium, kids were playing rounds of mini golf, making slime with members of the SMSU Chemistry Club, and trying to hook prizes in a fishing game.

“It’s harder than it looks,” said Lincoln Geurts. He spent a few minutes carefully trying to snag a keychain with his fishing line.

“It’s really fun to see a good crowd back at the Y,” said Executive Director Tom Bolin. Over the past year, COVID precautions meant fewer people and gatherings at the facility. It was good to be able to bring back a tradition with the Halloween carnival, he said.

“I don’t know how many years now we’ve been doing it. There’s always a great turnout,” Bolin said.

Bolin said community volunteers, including members of the SMSU men’s basketball team, the Education Minnesota Aspiring Educators and Andrew Suby all helped make the event possible this year.

“It’s a great group,” he said.

Between the line of trick-or-treaters and families searching for hidden pumpkins around the exhibits, things were busy at the Lyon County Museum, too. The museum brought back its Halloween fun day on Saturday, and organizers said they saw a good turnout. Collections Manager Paul Evanson said there had been visitors right away when the museum opened its doors Saturday morning. It was good to see, he said.

“It’s always fun to have kids in here,” Evanson said.

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