Bald Eagle

On Centre | Bald Eagle Area: Fear not: Alternative Halloween party goes for fun, not fright

Jen Daugherty isn’t afraid that Halloween will spook her 3-year-old daughter.

That’s because they’re going to Freedom Life’s “Light the Night” event Oct. 31 at the Bald Eagle Area Middle School in Wingate. At the alternative Halloween party, costumes will be allowed, but only if they’re not frightening.

“It’s always a comfort to know that she’s not going to be scared,” Daugherty said.

Daugherty is the Freedom Life “Next Gen” pastor, overseeing the youth and young adult programs of the Milesburg congregation. She’s also one of the organizers of the third “Light the Night” held at the school after years at other local sites.

And she’s got some treats in store.

From 6 to 8 p.m., the party will include free hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn and drinks, as well as games and activities for preschoolers, young children and teenagers. There’ll be games with NFL and “Despicable Me” themes, and two bounce houses, both traditional and a “bungee run.”

At the end, among the raffle prizes, a lucky boy and girl each will take home a bicycle.

“Instead of families having to go outside in the dark door to door, they can come and have fun in a safe environment,” Daugherty said.

Last year, about 300 children attended, she said. Organizers are planning at least 100 more visitors for the latest bash.

As in the past, everyone is welcome at the free event, though Daugherty recommended families register beforehand by calling 355-4947 or through, Freedom Life’s website, to avoid standing in line at the door.

Some parents may leave smiling, too.

Freedom Life plans to continue its tradition of giving away practical gift cards for families. In 2012, Daugherty recalled, two parents received a $50 grocery card to their surprise.

They wept in gratitude, having lost their jobs weeks before.

“To kind of meet the needs of our community, too, I know that’s been a blessing,” Daugherty said.