Donna Smith


It was a beautiful evening on Thursday as children of all ages arrived at Kent State University at Stark to show off their costumes and celebrate Halloween.



Children from all over the area collected candy and participated in fun, educational activities. Parents and children were able to tour the student center and outside areas for an evening of family friendly Halloween scares. There were several creepy science experiments and hands-on activities for the little ones to enjoy.



"This is our way of giving back to the community," said Dean Walter Wagor.  "We provide a safe environment for the kids." 



The annual event is very popular with the community, and it is estimated that between 1,000 and 1,500 children are in attendance each year.



The night takes a lot of planning and set up, which is mostly done by Kent Stark student clubs. 



"There are five clubs participating this year," said student volunteer and member of the sociology club, Rebecca Clapper.  Her friend, Megan Miller, also a student, was working hard at directing the huge crowd on where to go and handing out candy.



Both children and parents were in costume and all seemed to be having a great time. 



 "This is our first time here and the kids are having fun," said Jamie Dzama, a Kent Stark student and parent.  Her son, Jacob, 3, was ready for more candy.  Alisha Ritenour of Navarre brought her twins, J.R. and Shaun, 5, to the event.  "I like that it is a safe environment for younger kids," she said.



It turned out to be a wonderful evening with temperatures in the high 70s, which is very rare for this time of year. 



"We couldn't have asked for a better turn out or better weather," said Wagor.  "We got lucky."