Halloween weekend promises candy and fun in abundance with a number of free or low-cost activities for families for several days.
Among the reasons for holding the events, organizers name providing a safe place to have fun and serving the community.
For example, Portales Senior Center is holding its second annual Trick and Treat, where children come to the center to get free goodies and check out the decorated lobby.
“We enjoy doing it, and I still feel we need to do things for the community,” said Miriam Welker, president of the Portales Senior Citizens organization.
Not only do children come in costumes, but Welker said some of the senior citizens dress up, too.
Also, Calvary Baptist Church is holding its traditional free Fall Harvest Festival.
Pastor Brad Morgan said the event would include carnival-type games, a cake walk, candy and prizes for children through sixth grade and their families.
“It’s a safe alternative to keep kids off the streets, for one, and just to provide an alternative where we show the light instead of the darkness in the holiday,” Morgan said of the event’s goals.
Trinity Assembly of God has scheduled its own Harvest Fest, complete with a hay-bale maze, hot dogs and Frito pie, and games at no charge.
“And we give out tons and tons of candy, so they won’t miss out on that,” said pastor Kelly Fulfer.
The festival has a “Masks” theme for the message and other activities.
The church aims to create a safe, fun environment for children and adults alike. Fulfer said church members wanted to let the community know the church is available and ready to serve.
Emmanuel Baptist Church Children’s Department Director Sherry Bono expressed similar sentiments about the Fall Festival she is helping organize.
“We’re just trying to reach out to our community, to let them come see our church and see what we have to offer,” she said.
Last year, Emmanuel Baptist saw about 250 people attend the event. Bono said children through sixth grade and their families can play games, get their photos taken and win door prizes.
At Heartland Continuing Care Center, residents are inviting the community in as well, with their Trick or Treat at Heartland.
“The residents really enjoy seeing the little kids dressed up, and it’s something the residents really look forward to,” said Activity Coordinator Sharon Quaif.
She said children can go visit the rooms of about 20 residents to receive candy, and the event lasts as long as the sweets.