There were pirates and fairies, ax murders and superheroes, dinosaurs and Gomez and Morticia Addams sauntering through the crowd with a noble air. Perfect weather brought thousands out to the 25th annual Smyrna Halloween in the Park. It has become a tradition for families and friends to celebrate the season with the fun Trick or Treating event.
Halloween in the Park was originally created by Shannon King when Tom Sage was the Director of Smyrna Parks and Recreation. It initially took place on the grounds around what is now SOAC, outgrowing the space in just three years. It then moved to Lee Victory Park, outgrowing that facility in 2019. Now celebrated in Sharps Spring Park, this year there were food trucks, bounce slides, and more than 80 booths.
“The cool thing about the event,” said Mayor Mary Ester Reed, “is that in order to participate the booths have to give out candy.” So, there was plenty of candy for the young and the young at heart to put into their trick-or-treat bags.
Tennessee Chiropractic Alliance was the winner for the best booth. They had the perquisite candy, but they also gave away free photos with Doctor Doom, which was very popular.
The annual costume contest brought out lots of imagination including Uncle Eddie from the film “Family Vacation”, a “chick magnet” who wore a large fabric magnet around his neck with rubber ducks/chicks stuck to it, and a motion picture camera. Early winners included 18-month-old twins dressed up like and an old man and an old woman complete with walkers. Later in the day a crowd favorite among the 15 and older set, Beetlejuice, who had the perfect costume and attitude, won.
Costume contest judges Allison Williams, Tommy Williams, and Mary Williams felt that being a judge was very hard. The contest was judged by age groups. While the judges chose the top three in each age category, audience input chose the winners.
“There have been so many great costumes,” said Mary Williams.
“And the really little ones were so adorable,” added Alison Williams.
Smyrna Parks and Recreation Department added a sack race, a three-legged race, an egg toss and a pie eating contest this year. Contestants and those watching had a great time with these new events. A Smyrna coach was even giving pie eaters a pre-contest pep-talk.
Other activities included hayrides and a corn maze. As the sun faded below the horizon, the hayride and corn maze went from innocent fun to haunted horror thanks to the Smyrna High Girls Softball team.