Spook-o-rama still strong

Sarah Ladik/NNSL photo Fiona Huang, left, and Ira Cayen participate in a game at this year’s Spook-o-rama event involving picking up candy with chopsticks.

Sarah Ladik/NNSL photo
Fiona Huang, left, and Ira Cayen participate in a game at this year’s Spook-o-rama event involving picking up candy with chopsticks.

This year’s Spook-o-rama Halloween dance drew a crowd and dispensed thousands of dollars worth of prizes donated by local businesses.

“I think it used to be a bit of an insurance policy for businesses to keep kids off the streets,” said Steve Beck, a community constable. “But now I think the businesses are really just out to support the kids.”

The RCMP has been commemorating the scary holiday with a dance for 30 years. With support from businesses and individuals, the event has grown to a regular fall feature.

Jared Monkman, who donated his photography talents in the form of a photo booth for the event, said that although this was his first year attending the dance, he knew it as a popular destination when he was growing up.

“It’s a good thing for the kids,” he said. “It didn’t matter who you were, you could come here.”

More than 140 young people turned out for the night. There were dozens of prizes to give away, ranging from water bottles and baseball caps to a frozen-yogurt maker and a popcorn machine, not to mention the television and several return flights to Edmonton and Yellowknife.

“It’s just a great opportunity for us to get together with the kids and have some fun,” said Beck. “They really look forward to it every year. I got about 20 calls today at the detachment asking what time it started and even one kid, who was too young to come, who told me he would try to sneak in.”

The RCMP run a tight ship and anyone who comes sporting even a whiff of liquor is turned away at the door. Beck said it’s important to keep it a safe place for everyone.

“The kids and the volunteers who come out for the night just have great attitudes,” he said. “It’s always a great opportunity for us to spend some positive time with the kids, and they always have a great time.”

-Sarah Ladik