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Halloween Roundup
10/2/2017 9:35:23 PM

Halloween Roundup

Easy Halloween Costume Trends of 2017
by Lauren Atterbery Cesar

When planning costumes for you or your family this Halloween, you do not have to break the bank or spend hours preparing to achieve the perfect look. There are plenty of simple ideas out there for the whole family.  

For Adults: 

Betty, Veronica, and Archie 
Everything old is new again. The still-popular comic series "Archie” is now a CW television hit called "Riverdale,” and a new generation is being enthralled in their love triangle. A letterman jacket, jeans, and some temporary hair dye will make becoming Archie a breeze, and sophisticated clothing and a dark bob hairstyle is an easy way to become Veronica Lodge. Don pink pastels and a high blond ponytail to be the sweet girl-next-door, Betty Cooper. 

Human Fidget Spinner 
If you’ve got a large piece of cardboard, a little paint, the ability to draw circles, and some creativity, you got an easy way to become one of the most popular sensations of the year. 

Day of the Dead
Wearing dark clothing and getting fancy with your make-up is all it takes to create an interesting Day of the Dead costume. However, some people take it a step further by wearing intricate skirts or tuxedos to go along with their ghoulish south-of-the-border look. 

For Children: 

Charlie Chaplin
Dress your little one up in a suit and a bowler hat, and draw on a mustache, and you have a little Charlie Chaplin on your hands. Your sweet darling is sure to keep everyone in stitches during trick-or-treating. 

With a colorful tutu, some mesh fabric in varying shades tucked into a headband, and a decorated party hat, you can create a unicorn costume that will be the envy of all the little girls on the block. 

Human Lego
Cut out arm and neck holes in a box, hot clue small plastic cups to the front, and spray paint the entire thing in your child’s favorite color for a human Lego costume. This is an easy costume that kids of all ages will enjoy. 

Looking for a Halloween one-stop shop? 

Visit the locally owned Party Time Store of Lake Charles. They are stocked up on what they predict will be the most popular costumes of the season, including Steam Punk and Day of the Dead regalia, but they like to keep classic costumes and accessories on-hand as well. Party Time Store staffers believe some looks never go out of style, like the pirate, or era-based costumes like hippies and ladies from the Roaring Twenties. 

No matter what look you choose for you and yours this Halloween, the best part of this special day is creating fun memories with family and friends, and of course stocking up on fun-sized Snicker bars. 

Trick or Treat Etiquette
by Lauren Atterbery Cesar

October is the month for pumpkin spice lattes, teeny-tiny goblins, and Ninja Turtles ringing your doorbell in hopes of scoring the best candy to add to their trick-or-treating pails. It can be oh-so-much fun to watch precious children donning their favorite costumes and ambling their way to your door with outstretched bags and their best smiles . . . but there have likely also been times when you have wished someone would have reminded a few trick-or-treaters that there are some basic trick-or-treating rules they should stick to. Teach your child to practice manners to ensure he or she is a pillar of politeness on All Hallows Eve. 

Say thank you. On Halloween night, young people can forget they are going to someone’s home and asking them for something. In any situation where someone gives something to another, a simple "thank you” is in order. Also, saying "trick or treat!” as someone answers the door is part of the fun and expected by many candy-givers. 

If the lights are off, keep moving. If someone has turned their porch lights off, it means they are not participating in handing out candy, so you should not go onto their property at all. There are plenty of other homes offering Halloween goodies, so move on to the next one. 

Don’t be greedy and wait your turn. Ensure your child is not the one who pushes others out of the way or forgets there are other children also waiting for some of the Halloween loot. When given the opportunity to take candy from a bowl, a trick-or-treater should only take one or two pieces unless instructed otherwise. And only visit each house one time. 

At a certain age, trick-or-treaters should retire. Although the age of retirement from going door to door is debatable, many think teenagers should stay home and hand out candy to younger children. If they must go door to door, at the very least, they should don a costume and be polite.

Remember that the city generally sets times for trick or treating, so try to adhere to those rules as you and your loved ones enjoy the Halloween fun.

No-Carving, No Problem! Easy Pumpkin Decorating Ideas 
by Sylvia Ney

It’s autumn and time to enjoy all things pumpkin flavored, colored, and scented! However, enjoying the taste and smell doesn’t necessarily mean you like to carve pumpkins for decorating. If you detest the mess of gutting a pumpkin, only to watch it slowly rot, consider one of these fun alternatives and bring this holiday staple back to your home.

Paint, stamps, glitter, sequins, adhesive jewels, and decals
Whether you’re painting red lines on a white gourd to simulate a baseball, or bedazzling a pumpkin to recreate a princess carriage, these items can bring delightful results for decorators of any age.

Flowers, foliage, leaves, and branches
It doesn’t matter if they’re artificial or the real thing, natural elements can be a beautiful enhancement to your décor. Simply glue them to the rind, or drill small holes to insert the stems.

Mr. Potato Head pieces, brads, pins, nails, string
The easiest decorations are often found in items that can simply be inserted without fuss. Use potato head pieces to make faces or brads and push pins to create bling and lines. Nails can be inserted easily to allow for string art design to produce the image of your choice

Lace, ribbon
For a more Gothic or Victorian look, consider using lace and ribbon. 

Simply add a top hat, witch or pirate hat, bow tie, glasses, mustache, or a mask for a quick transformation.

Toilet paper or white streamers
These can be wrapped around a gourd for a mummy look.

If the Rose parade can make entire floats from flowers, seeds and other edibles, you can add them to your pumpkins. Consider a pumpkin made to look like a popcorn box.

 Make a vine centerpiece by coiling flexible fake vines around gourd stems to produce a miniature pumpkin patch, or stack miniature gourds to produce your own gourd guys, similar to making a snowman.

Gourds of goodies
Stick lollipop ends into a pumpkin or gourd for a handy trick or treating bowl.

Use a favorite pattern for a detailed, but easy look.

Spiders nest
Plastic creepy crawlers are a bug infestation worth having in your décor. Simply cover a gourd with plastic spiders, and don’t forget to have a few trailing off!

Go Teal
Teal has quickly become a traditional fall color, signaling trick-or-treaters with food allergies that you are offering allergy-safe goodies. For more on this trend, check out the teal pumpkin project: 

Wow Your Child’s Classroom with these Halloween Treats
by Lauren Atterbery Cesar

Life with children is busy, and it can be difficult not to feel inferior when you send your child to the class party with a bag of Dots purchased on the way to school at the Family Dollar store, only to discover other parents sent replicas of Count Dracula’s castle made from bananas, strawberry lollipops, and flax seeds grown organically in Transylvania under Vlad the Impaler’s castle. Seriously?

No, you’re not doing it wrong. You’re doing your best, and that is good enough. However, if you want to wow both the kids and party moms this year without reconstructing Dumbledore out of Twizzlers, here are a few ideas that won’t break the bank or take three weeks to assemble. 

Marshmallow Treat Monsters: You will need wax paper, a box of prepackaged Rice Krispies® Treats, Wilton’s Candy Melts in whichever color you like, cooking oil, and candy eyes in various shapes. Melt the Candy Melts in a microwave-safe bowl, adding small amounts of oil until it becomes a liquid. Dip the top half of each unwrapped Rice Krispies Treat into the liquid, and place various eyes onto the liquid before it dries. Place each treat on wax paper to dry, and then voila! You will have adorable marshmallow treat monsters for your child’s classroom in minutes. 

Banana Ghosts and Mandarin Pumpkins: You will need bananas, miniature and regular sized chocolate chips, mandarin oranges, and a stalk of celery to create this healthy Halloween snack. Cut the bananas in half, peel them, and place two miniature chocolate chips near the top for eyes, and one regular sized chocolate chip further down to create a mouth for your banana ghost. Next, peel the Mandarin oranges and place a small piece of the celery stalk on top to make it look like a cute little pumpkin. 

Halloween Hands: You will need several bags of assorted, individually wrapped candy, clear plastic gloves, a bag of plastic spider rings, and some ribbon. Stuff the latex gloves with the assorted candy, tie the glove off with a piece of ribbon, and put a spider ring on one of the fingers. This is a memorable way to hand out candy to your child’s class. If you want to get even more creative, put a piece of candy corn in each finger area before stuffing it.

Lake Area Halloween Events

Altitude Trampoline Park 
Costume contest during Friday Night Friendzy, October 27. The winner of the contest will receive Altitude-related prizes, one of them being a free birthday party certificate.

Pops and Rockets and Botsky’s
Will host a Halloween Candy Crawl for kids at the Pop Lab, 3-6 p.m., Oct. 31, followed by a Creepy Crawlers Bar Crawl for adults at 6:00 p.m. Sign up at the Lab for the costume contest. 

Lake Area Adventures Will host the first annual Zombie Patrol this fall every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through October 31st. 6:30-10:30, 2701 Industrial Ave. off Hwy 14. $25/person. 

Real Zombie Hunt Outdoor Adventure – Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 13 - 28, 7:00-11:00 p.m. at Bayou Games Paintball Complex, 681 Kim St. Sulphur, LA 70663. Call (337) 214-5001 for more info. Admission: Laser Tag - $10; Haunted Paintball Trail - $25; Combo Adventure - $30

The Lost Hollows Haunted Attraction
Fridays and Saturdays through October 28. E. Prien Lake Road, Lake Charles, LA 70607. (337) 415-9159. $22 for General Admission; $35 for FAST PASS.

Witch Way’s the Party Halloween Theme Cake Decorating Class
Sept. 28, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. $45.00 includes all supplies. Moss Bluff Senior Center, 2868 Highway 171 North, Moss Bluff, LA 70611. (337) 302-9951

Tales from the Mat Yoga
Spooky Black Light yoga flow.  
October 13, 6:30 p.m. $15 Drop In, $5 for unlimited members, Free for Autopay and Yearly members. Yoga Center of Lake Charles, 321 Broad Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601, 337-497-0017

Movies in the Square 
October 14, Goosebumps; 
Oct. 28, Hocus Pocus
Admission: FREE. Movies in the Square begin at sunset. In the event of rain, movies will be rescheduled. The Grove at Heritage Square, 1211 Ruth St. (337) 313-1302

Murder at Moon Mansion
Catered Meal Provided
 Tables/Tickets must be purchased in advance for Dinner Theatre performances. The Mines Sulphur Community Theatre, 121 E. Napoleon St., Sulphur, Oct. 14 and 28, 7:00 p.m.  (337) 215-1602.
1 of 1
Lake Area Runners Spooky Trail 10 Mile Trail Run
Sam Houston Jones State Park, Moss Bluff, Oct. 28. 8:00 a.m. Post race food and beverages provided.

Downtown Trick or Treat Candy Crawl, Lake Charles Put on your best costume and head downtown for trick-or-treating! Oct. 31, 3:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Halloween Harvest Fest Free community event including games, train rides, face art, balloons and fun in the Civic Center Coliseum. Costumes are encouraged but not required. 900 Lakeshore Drive, Oct. 31, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. (337) 491-1280

SkeleTUNES on the Lake Lake Charles Community Band Halloween Concert. 7:00 p.m., second floor mezzanine of the Lake Charles Civic Center. Oct. 31, 7:00 p.m. FREE. (337) 625-5330

KC Productions presents Sweeney Todd on stage Central School Arts and Humanities Center. Oct. 26-29.

Kiwanis Coats for Kids Spooktacular
Crying Eagle Brewery, Sat. Oct. 28. 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. Free beer glass and raffle ticket with a coat donation. Coats and proceeds donated to 10 local charities. 

Tips for a Safe Halloween
by Kristy Como Armand

Most people think of Halloween as a time for fun and treats, and while we’re not trying to scare you, parents should be aware that Halloween is one of the most dangerous times of the year for children.  According to Safe Kids Worldwide, on average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.

Joni Fontenot, spokesperson for the Safety Council of Southwest Louisiana, says falls, eye injuries, cuts and burns are also common among children on Halloween. "The good news is Halloween-related injuries can be prevented if parents closely supervise school-aged children during trick-or-treat activities. The excitement of the night can cause children to forget to be careful. That’s why it's important for parents to be aware of safety hazards and do everything they can to ensure safe enjoyment of Halloween activities.” 

The Safety Council offers the following easy tips to reduce the risk of injury on Halloween:

  • Trick-or-treating should be supervised by an adult in well-known neighborhoods.
  • Carry a flashlight.
  • Stay on well-lit roads and visit well-lit houses. 
  • Avoid short-cuts. Stay on sidewalks or on the side of streets.
  • Add reflective tape to costumes if they don’t already have some. 
  • Children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down and keep heads up.
  • Avoid masks that limit vision. Choose instead to wear makeup or face paint.
  • If your child is carrying a prop such as a staff or a pitchfork, make sure the edges are dull and your child carries it upright, not in the way of other children.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review their route, and agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Instruct your child not to eat any candy until it has been examined by you. If the candy looks like it may have been opened, there are holes in the wrapper, or it looks or smells odd in any way, throw it out.
  • When driving on Halloween, drive slowly in neighborhoods and be alert for trick-or-treaters.
If you plan to give out candy, make sure your visitors have a good experience at your house:
  • Make sure your lawn is free and clear of any obstacles that could be tripped over in the dim light.
  • Provide store-bought treats that are individually wrapped.
  • Keep your home well-lit.
  • If you decorate with jack-o-lanterns with candles inside, supervise them at all times and make sure they are out of the path trick-or-treaters will use.

Don’t Play TricksWith Your Eyes
by Kristy Como Armand

Costume contact lenses have the power to take your costume from mediocre to monstrous in the blink of an eye. Transforming your eyes to complete your costume can be great Halloween fun, and the range of costume lens styles expands each year, but caution is advised when it comes to the use of these types of lenses.

While eye care experts don’t want to scare consumers unnecessarily, concerns about the risks associated with the novelty lenses -- which can be purchased from unlicensed vendors on the internet or at flea markets and specialty shops -- have prompted the FDA to issue a warning to consumers. "Although decorative contact lenses may seem like just another costume accessory, it’s important to understand that these lenses can seriously harm the eye if they are used without appropriate supervision by an eye care professional,” says Dr. Mel Gehrig, optometrist with The Eye Clinic.

"Many people mistakenly think novelty contact lenses are just like sunglasses, and if you’re not wearing the lenses to correct your vision, you don’t need to see an eye doctor,” says Dr. Gehrig. "This is a dangerous misconception. Unlike sunglasses, these lenses are going in your eye, right on top of your cornea. People, especially teenagers and young adults, who wear lenses purchased from unlicensed vendors have been given no instructions and often practice risky behavior. They don’t clean or disinfect the lenses. They sleep in them. They even swap them with their friends.”

Eye care experts advise that all contact lenses can increase the risk of infections in the eye because they prevent normal amounts of oxygen from reaching the eye, but these risks are much higher in over-the-counter contact lenses because none of the safety procedures are followed. "When you purchase these from an unlicensed provider, you don’t even know if the lenses are made from a material that is safe for your eye,” adds Dr. Gehrig.

The FDA has also received reports of corneal ulcers associated with wearing decorative lenses longer than the recommended period. These ulcers can progress rapidly and, if left untreated, can lead to infection, scarring of the cornea, vision impairment, or even blindness or eye loss.

Dr. Gehrig says other risks associated with the use of novelty contact lenses include:
  • Conjunctivitis (a highly contagious infection of the eye) 
  • Corneal edema (swelling of the cornea) 
  • Allergic reactions and corneal abrasion caused by poor lens fit 
  • Reduction in visual acuity (sight) 
  • Contrast sensitivity and other problems that can interfere with driving and other activities

"As with any contact lens, an eye exam is required for proper fitting of cosmetic lenses,” says Dr. Gehrig. "By purchasing contact lenses from a non-eye care source, you are putting your vision at risk.”

If you want blue or orange, zombie, cat or alien eyes, you can get them, but Dr. Gehrig says the key for your eye safety is to make sure you get them from a licensed eye care professional.

For more information, call The Eye Clinic’s contact lens department at (337) 478-3810.

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