Many of the 772 children at the Hannibal Police Department’s 32nd annual children’s Halloween party Wednesday night begged to go through the haunted house that filled a major amount of space in the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center again and again. One of them was 7-year-old Kegan Johnson, who said “nothing was scary because I’m not scared of anything.” She was dressed as a pink elephant.
The hay bale maze was a top attraction for the younger crowd, such as Corbin Blackford, 4, who was dressed as a pumpkin.
A little cowboy, 2-year-old Marcus Boggiano, loved the maze, candy and popcorn, according to his parents. Also enjoying the maze were Aiden Higdon, 2, and Aaron Daughtery, 6.
Other youngsters liked the games manned by high school and college students. Kira Glanton, 6, a “candy corn witch,” chose the football toss game as her favorite.
“Pumpkins” came in all ages, with Kendra Spegal, 11, among the oldest
Many witches, vampires and other scary characters were seen at the party, often wearing colorful costumes. Annalise Allen, 2, was a “fairy witch” who wanted to stay near the big spider outside the haunted house, although she was too young to go through the house.
Some were completely hidden behind their masks, such as 9-year-old Anthonio Valenzuela, aka “Scarecrow Scream.”
Two of the vampires were 5-year-old twins John Michael and Riley Montgomery, with their parents, Sara and Charles Montgomery. Riley’s favorite part of the party was the maze and John Michael liked eating popcorn.
Two robots had complicated costumes made from boxes and flexible pipes. They were worn by Harmonie Lantz, 4, of Hannibal, and Blake Lantz, 11, of Monroe City. Making robots is a family tradition, according to Lance’s mom, Dawn Fortner.
She explained that her dad, the late Don Buggs Fortner, “made robots costumes for my brother (Don Fortner) and me several times in the ‘70s. We were in the Cotton Parade in California and took first place.”
Dawn has been making a robot costume for Lance for several years, and must make a new one each year, because “he keeps outgrowing them.” She likes the robots because “they are safe.”
Another creative costume was worn by Abigail Gentry, 9, of Hannibal, who was a roller-skating carhop. She had no trouble skating through the party, and said “I used to skate all the time” until she broke her foot earlier this year. “Now I’m skating again.” Her favorite place to skate is in the kitchen.
Adults also were dressed for the costume contest, and among the most scary was Lisa Bunch, as Einstein, dressed in white with a cart full of fingers, rats and eyeballs.
Page 2 of 2 - Cpl. Jonathan Borgmeyer, the HPD’s new DARE officer, was in charge of the party, and his wife, Amber, was dressed as a masquerader to help with the costume contest. Assisting her was Jennifer Locke, aka Cinderella.
Winners of the costume contest, first and second place respectively, were:
• 0 to age 3 - Kiana Pearl and Jordan Norvell.
• 4 to 6 - Harmonie Lantz and Isabella Logsdon.
• 7 to 9 - Maddix Veach and Abigail Gentry.
• 10 to 12 - Jaxson Hudelson and Kadin Morgan.
After the party, Cpl. Borgmeyer said there were 772 children at the party. “We had an absolutely wonderful turnout and plenty of help from volunteers. Our volunteers were wonderful.”
See photo gallery for more photos of the party.