LAC LA BICHE - Halloween festivities brought cheers at Lac La Biche's Aurora Middle School throughout the day on Friday. With Halloween falling on a Sunday this year, schools across the region were celebrating the spooky holiday on Friday before Hallow's Eve.
At Aurora, creative costumes and a spooky pumpkin carving contest brought all the students from Grades 4 to 8 to the school’s cafeteria for prizes and fun throughout the day.
With many school and community-based events postponed due to COVID in recent years, says Principal Conal Donovan, it was nice to be able to get students excited about school activities again.
“It’s good to see kids participating and getting some school spirit back,” he said.
More students got involved in the take-home pumpkin carving contest this year, he says, explaining that the 47 entries nearly doubled the crop of recent years.
Costumes were also inventive and unique, he says, as the students walked through the cafeteria, class by class, seeing all the pumpkins their peers crafted before returning to class.
The hard work of costume-making and pumpkin carving was rewarded with an in-school spooky snack on Friday, as parent volunteers served up a gooey helping of ‘Worms-and-Dirt’ (chocolate pudding with gummy worms) to the classes.
More awards were handed out on Friday for best-dressed students, classes and best pumpkin designs, with teachers, school staff and parent volunteers voting for the most eye-grabbing gourds and costumes. In the end, the four students with the best pumpkins and one student from each class with the best costume were awarded various prizes.
Included in the prize giveaway this year was a new one — an opportunity to give a Halloween makeover to their school principal and associate principal. Because the Grade 5A and 5B classes carved the most pumpkins, they got the opportunity to dress Donovan and Assistant Principal Carolina Franke, choosing from a large selection of costumes that included a pink wig, a white prom dress and a hula skirt.
“We just want to ensure they have a fun experience; its middle school, it’s supposed to be enjoyable and memorable, and we want to be a part of that,” Donovan said, smiling from under a pink wig and witches hat that didn't quite match the white ball gown and cheerleader pom-poms he'd been dressed in.
With giggles and cheers echoing in the halls all around him, Donovan said school officials are looking forward to bringing back all yearly activities in an interactive fashion.
School officials say all of the Halloween fun events were carefully planned so they were compliant with school and provincial COVID-19 measures. Maintaining those health and safety measures is the best way to get back to an event-filled year, said Donovan.
"We want to make sure we can get some normalcy and fun back into the routine of school.”