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Centre excited to add some new attractions to annual Spooktacular

A group of children and parents work on a craft project during last year’s New Richmond Area Centre Halloween Spooktacular. (Photo by Tom Lindfors)

With each year that goes by, the New Richmond Area Centre looks to continue to add to its popular Halloween Spooktacular, which this year is Oct. 25, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“Each year we make a few changes to make the event even better than the year before,” said Centre Youth, Teen and Family Manager Larissa Ruud. “But we also love to bring back the favorites including the hayride, some of our spooky activity stations and the jumpers, but we’re excited to add new elements each year, too.”

Among the new attractions making an appearance at this year’s event are a costume contest, a small petting zoo put on by New Richmond FFA, a cookie decorating station, a mini-pumpkin and gourd decorating station and a make your own slime station.

“The Centre really is transformed during our bigger events and it’s neat to see hundreds of community members come together and enjoy an afternoon full of fun here,” Ruud said. “ There are countless activities for the kids to do to really make it a full day of fun.”

One of the reasons Ruud gives for the popularity of the Spooktacular event is that it is an event that the whole family can enjoy.

“I think families really enjoy the family-friendly Halloween games and crafts that the event offers each year, and the chance to experience the Centre in a different and fun way than they do on most days,” Ruud said. “Last year we had about 300 people attend the event.”

According to Ruud, planning for the annual event takes several months and includes looking at how the event went the year before and how to make things better for the people who come to the event.

“We always spend time reviewing events after they happen and talking about what we want to keep and what we think should change for the next year’s event,” Ruud said. “Then, a few months before the event, we start planning and prepping, recruiting volunteers and getting the event organized.

“It’s also worth noting that this event is almost completely volunteer led — countless Centre staff and community members volunteer their time to make this event possible.”

In order to transform the Centre into a fall and Halloween wonderland, the staff and volunteers put a lot of work into decorating the Centre.

“We incorporate both fall and Halloween decorations to add some fun to the event,” Ruud said. “So, while we’ll have some spooky spiders and skeletons, we’ll also have fun and friendly scarecrows to give it that autumn feeling.”

One of the things that Ruud and the Centre staff look forward to each year is seeing how the costume selections of the visitors change.

“The costumes change each year and are always so much fun to see,” Ruud said. “I think the kids always look forward to a brand new costume each year that is fun and different from the year before. Princess and superhero costumes are always popular ones that we see; some of the most creative costumes last year included the Chiquita Banana Woman.”

The Halloween Costume contest is one of the new events that Ruud feels everyone will enjoy this year.

“This is the first year that we’re having the costume contest, so we’re very excited to see all of the fabulous costumes,” Ruud said.

With so many different Halloween events going on over the next few weeks, Ruud feels that the Centre’s Halloween Spooktacular, as well as the other family-oriented events around the area, are something the community needs to have every year.

“The Halloween Spooktacular is important to the community because it’s a great opportunity to come together with your neighbors and friends in a positive and fun environment,” Ruud said. “It’s a great opportunity to spend time with your children and engage in activities together as a family. Families are so busy now days, and having an opportunity to come together for even just a few hours to spend some quality time together is huge.”

For more information on the Centre’s Halloween Spooktacular, contact Larissa Ruud at 715-243-0847 or .

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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