Wednesday night's Harvest Fair at Northern Light United Church may not have been the most frightening event of the year, but if it was any indication of Juneau's enthusiasm for the holiday, tonight will be a Halloween to remember.
The church's youth group organized and ran most of the games at the event. Activities included a cake walk to the soundtrack of last summer's Scooby Doo movie, a fish pond where a princess and a ghost attached candy and games to makeshift fishing poles, face painting, a donut dangle, a ring toss, cookie decorating and a haunted attic.
The highlight of the evening was a costume parade in which more than 25 kids marched around the church to show off their (or their parents') creativity.
Costumes varied in complexity, as princesses, fairies and lions mingled with a "Gothic Depressed Berry Bobblehead" and "Belly Bob," who had a huge hat over his head and a face painted on his bare stomach.
Belly Bob, aka Jacob Sanders, 8, said he was using the costume his older brother used last year. His sister, princess Molly Sanders, 6, said there was no chance she'd be using the Belly Bob costume next year.
Joy Lyon, who oversees the youth group at the church, said the fair was held on Halloween Eve to give kids a chance to trick or treat tonight.
"Last year we held it on Halloween, and the youths disappeared right and left to go trick or treating themselves," Lyon said.
The costume-less kids in attendance were either saving their outfits for tonight or not dressing up at all. Logan Sanders, 13, who was helping with the cake walk while wearing jeans and a T-shirt, claimed he was in costume.
"I'm going as a resource-consuming kid," he said.
Henrike Berg, a 16-year-old exchange student from Mlheim, Germany, was getting her first taste of this particularly American holiday.
"It's funny," Berg said. She was in street attire Wednesday night, but plans to trick or treat as a witch tonight.
All 20 middle school and high school-age members of the youth group helped organize the event, which was open to the public and advertised on flyers posted in the neighborhood. Planning took about a month, Lyon said.
Admission to the fair was one canned food item, which the group will donate to a local charity. Any candy collected as the kids trick or treat tonight, though, the kids will keep.
Christine Schmid can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.