Nearly 2,000 children spent a warm and cozy night trick or treating at the Spokane Convention Center during the city’s biggest Halloween party Tuesday.
While temperatures outside dropped well below freezing, Lou Miraglia watched as his 8-year-old daughter, Amanda, dressed in a poodle skirt, painted a happy face and her name on a mural. His 5-year-old daughter, Annie, went from booth to booth around the Convention Center.
“It’s too cold for them right now,” Miraglia said. “I thought this would be a fun change.”
The Special Olympics, with the help of volunteer groups and corporate sponsors, resurrected the popular indoor Halloween party, which had ended in 1991 after 11 years.
The last Hallelujah Halloween Party put on by Greg Yost and Calvary Chapel had been attended by more than 20,000 children.
This year’s party was limited to 2,000 children for financial reasons. Some parents and children who didn’t pick up free tickets in advance at Little Caesar’s Pizza were turned away at the door.
Stashia Votava, one of the volunteer coordinators, said she hopes more children will be able to attend next year. “We want the community to have a safe, warm Halloween night,” she said.
For those who got in, the party was a sanctuary from the unseasonably chilly weather.
Nine-year-old Lisa Hinkle, who sported a cheerleader costume, said the party was enjoyable, safe and much warmer than being outside.
“It sounded like fun, and my mom told me about it,” she said.
Area companies and volunteer groups gave away doughnuts and candy and put on games for the children, and some Gonzaga University students set up a haunted house.
Robert and Annette Hutches brought their 2-year-old daughter, Danielle, to the party because she’s too young for outdoor trick or treating. They were impressed with the event.
“We’ll probably come back next year,” he said.
Kim Deater, whose 4-year-old daughter, Alexis, was dressed as the X-Men character Wolverine, said that while her daughter loved the indoor Halloween party, she missed traditional trick or treating.
“It’s kind of slow. You have to wait in lines,” she said.