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Halloween alternative activities abound at Mount Carmel

Mount Carmel Baptist Church has even more treats in store than usual for those who attend its annual alternative Halloween festivities this year, which, as usual, are open to the entire community.

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Carlos Villagran enjoys Mount Carmel Baptist Church’s Trunk or Treat event with his triplets Andrew, Haley and Emily.

The Trunk or Treat event held on Halloween begins at 6:30 p.m. and lasts until 8:30 p.m.

After gathering mass amounts of free candy handed out by congregation members from their decorated car trunks, kids can burn off their sugar-fueled energy in an inflatable bouncy house, said children’s minister Candy Brown. The Lone Oak Fire Department will also be on-site with a truck distributing treats to attendees.

“In today’s society, where there’s a lot of fears out there, here we know it’s safe,” Brown said of the event. “It’s a lot of fun, not just for the families that attend, but for the people who help put it on. We just have a great time.”

New this year is a haunted house alternative called The Trail, held on church property Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 27-28 from 6:30-10:30 p.m. both days.

“Everyone likes to be scared on Halloween, but some [haunted houses] have too much of the paranormal stuff, and I don’t like that,” said youth minister John Prose. “This will scare you just from walking through the woods.”

Attendees will be spooked by everything from swamp things to a famous movie character known for his hockey mask, said Prose. The Trail is appropriate for all ages, as he said the actors have numerous ways of toning down the content for groups with younger children.

“You can sit around the bonfire afterward and learn about a love that casts out fear,” said Prose.

Members of the church’s youth group will be giving away free hot dogs, sodas and cotton candy, and tables will be set up where families can sit and enjoy food and fellowship, she said.

Prizes will be awarded for the best-decorated trunk as well as for best pumpkin in the pre-carved pumpkin contest.

Event admission charge is either two cans of food to be donated to a local agency, or $5 that will go toward the cost of youth group members to attend an upcoming winter conference. The youth benefiting from the event are all serving as actors on The Trail, which Prose said he hopes will become an annual event.

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