Getting ready to party at Belleair’s Halloween festivities from left are Vanessa Allan of Clearwater and her children Lucy, 8, Creighton, 7 and Andrew 11.
BELLEAIR – Well past the time when they had planned to stop serving pizza and salad, Belleair volunteers were still at it because people kept coming. In fact there were more people at the annual Halloween Party on Oct. 20 than ever before.
Belleair’s Director of Special Events, Sara Borger, was at a loss to explain why so many people showed up but she said, “It is a good problem to have.”
The centerpiece of the event had to be the haunted house. The staff of the Recreation Department spent a week and a half turning the games room in the recreation center into the haunted house, the sole purpose of which is to scare a person. Belleair Commissioner Michael Wilkinson said, “It is not for the faint of heart.”
For those who didn’t want to get scared out of their wits there was plenty more. The party began with the pizza dinner, which attracted several hundred people. Among those attending this year was Georgia Gay and her three children from Largo.
“We love it, we’ve been here twice,” she said. “The kids especially love it and we’ll keep coming back.”
Vanessa Allan and her three children from Clearwater were also at the dinner.
“We’ll keep coming back until the children say they are getting too old,” she said. “We’ve been coming for four years now and we won’t be stopping anytime soon.”
Then there was the haunted trolley ride, which took revelers through the surrounding neighborhood so they could see the Halloween decorations along the mall. In fact the number of attendees created a problem in that their cars were parked along the mall obscuring the view of the decorations, which eventually had to be moved onto the median.
As well there was the trick or treat trail which wound around the Town Hall and as the children walked along every few feet, there was a civic group or sponsor handing out treats. In addition to that there were bouncy houses for the children who might have had to wear off some of that sugar-induced energy.
The Halloween party has been going on in Belleair as long as Borger can remember.
“My children used to come here and that was 18 years ago,” she said. “It has gotten a lot bigger. Even the trick or treat trail has expanded. And I can’t say enough about the Civic Association, our main sponsor; they provide both money and volunteers.”
Borger said the Halloween party is one of the signature events in the town.
“It is a time when everybody can get together,” she said. “We provide a really fun time and we’re trying to do something for all age groups. Even the teenagers get involved, they are the ones scaring you in the Haunted House, and they are doing a good job, don’t you think?”