On a dark and stormy night, the Parkway Chateau was an oasis for ghouls, goblins, princesses and Pikachus Wednesday taking part in the annual trick-or-treating event for those with special needs.
Organized by Country Inn and Suites, the event, now in its sixth year, attracted more than 300, with many who came in costume to enjoy trick-or-treating without the wet and windy elements.
The event included live music and buffet dinner of pizza, nachos, mostaccioli and other freshly made, kid-friendly foods.
Cynthia Annel of Pleasant Prairie and her daughters Mia, 8, and Madison, 9, were excited to be indoors for the Halloween event.
Madison, who was born with spinal muscular atrophy and uses a wheelchair, was dressed in her finest Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) regalia, complete with white mask, while Mia sported her favorite Pokemon character, the golden yellow-and-black, pointy-eared Pikachu.
The indoor venue was an ideal place for Madison as the cold and wet weather would aggravate her condition, according to her mother. Plus, she could roam.
“I get to run around,” said Madison, who’s favorite part of Halloween isn’t really the candy, but eyeing people’s costumes.
Annel said she was surprised at the number of activities her kids could enjoy. The venue featured face paintings and games.
“I thought it was very accessible for them,” she said. “It’s nice to have (an event) that includes everyone.”
Patricia Pierce said her daughter Elizabeth, 5, dressed as a princess, had only been trick or treating once before.
“She’s anxious to get moving,” said Pierce, who is from Racine. “We’ve got some candy already.”
Pierce said last year, Elizabeth observed went door-to-door for sweet treats.
“She did pretty good. She can’t say ‘trick-or-treat’ yet, so we’re working on pleases and thank yous,” said her mother.
Community supportThis year, organizers received assistance from 45 businesses and agencies, adding 10 more to last year to help put on the event said Nadia Rodriguez, the hotel’s general manager.
“It’s awesome to see the community come out with this kind of support,” she said.
The event got its start in 2011 when the hotel offered trick-or-treating for children with special needs, who would otherwise not have access to a safe environment go door-to-door for Halloween, Rodriguez said.
It has since grown to accommodate a larger communitywide celebration, including a haunted maze with games and prizes as well as information tables for businesses, organizations and agencies, especially those that assist people with disabilities.
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