Halloween comes early at Fall Fest in Bellefonte

Austin Fry throws a Hula-Hoop around a scarecrow during the Bellefonte Fall Fest Saturday at Talleyrand Park.
Austin Fry throws a Hula-Hoop around a scarecrow during the Bellefonte Fall Fest Saturday at Talleyrand Park. psheehan@centredaily.com

People in Bellefonte on Saturday got an early glimpse of Halloween.

The Halloween Parade from the Bellefonte YMCA to Talleyrand Park was the highlight of a daylong Fall Fest organized by members of Historic Bellefonte Inc.

It’s a tradition that dates back to at least the mid-1990s, said parade organizer Vana Dainty.

“It’s a free-for-all,” she said. “Kids show up, we judge them on their costumes and they walk in a parade. It’s something nice for the kids and the community, and they just have a blast.”

And it started and ended with students from the Bellefonte Area High School Marching Band, who played a series of songs including the theme to “The Addams Family.”

This year also included a costume contest with 10 categories.

Categories included: the Hansel and Gretel Award for best kids’ costume; the Beauty and Beast Award for best pet costume; the Rapunzel Award for the person with the best hair as part of their costume; and the Peter Pan Award for the adult with the best costume.

Even Dainty was dressed up as a black widow, which included all black attire with a black spider web attached to her head.

“Sure, it’s just as fun for me as it is for them (the kids),” she said with a laugh.

Costumes included princesses, Ninja Turtles and action heroes, and ghosts, goblins and ghouls.

But one brother-sister duo teamed up to dress as George and Martha Washington with costumes made by their grandmother.

“This is probably my favorite costume to wear,” Madeline Soroka, 9, said. “I really liked being Pocahontas and Princess Leia, too, but this one’s the best — probably because of the wig.”

Madeline wore a blue Victorian-style dress, with a curly blond wig. Her brother, Henry Soroka, 5, who dressed as George Washington, wore a blue military uniform with a similar look to the one Washington wore during the Revolutionary War. He also had a plastic sword.

Children were also able to trick-or-treat at downtown businesses.

HBI President Sally Houser said some local businesses were given a pumpkin decoration to hang in their windows, which let children know they had candy.

The Fall Fest included nine vendors from local organizations, including the Moose Lodge, Bellefonte’s music boosters program and the Centre County Youth Service Bureau.

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo