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VENTURA COUNTY NEWS

Fun-Seeking Ghouls Get the Jump on Halloween

Trick or treat: Before the witching hour, schools, businesses and residents play the part with costumes and creativity.

November 01, 2000|NANCY FORREST-YOSNOW and JOSH KARP | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Children, and some adults, in Ventura County didn't wait until nightfall Tuesday to start celebrating Halloween.

Schools and shopping malls held celebrations throughout the day, many of which involved sugar-laden treats and activities that appealed to children and families.

Ventura's Lincoln Elementary School students created masks--made of everything from plaster of Paris and Popsicle sticks to paper plates and colorful construction paper--and then showed them off in an annual Halloween parade.

Teacher Aleta Lepper said her students created a character for each mask and then wrote a dramatic Halloween story about the character.

Parent Linda MacDonald, who moved from Diamond Bar to Ventura with her family two months ago, said it was the first time her son, Tim, a fourth-grader, had created a mask for Halloween.

Students at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School in Camarillo celebrated the occasion with uplifting costumes, steering clear of the gory or gruesome, and took part in a campuswide scavenger hunt, Principal Don Huntley said.

The students participated in a costume parade around the perimeter of the East Ventura Boulevard campus.

In the east county, a tent outside a first-grade classroom at Weathersfield Elementary School in Thousand Oaks warned students: "Enter only if you dare!"

Inside, parent Debby Chapman, dressed in full witch gear, sat with half a dozen ingredients intended to bring back Frankenstein. Five blindfolded students entered the tent and helped Chapman whip up her potion.

"Eew!" the children shouted as they grabbed worms [spaghetti], rat eyeballs [peas] and vampires' hearts [vanilla pudding].

"I love being with the kids," said Chapman, whose three children attend the school. "We have a blast."

In Jeneen Vetrovec's class, first-grader Gracie Chapman and her friends listened to spooky stories, bobbed for doughnuts and made bats out of felt, in addition to venturing into Gracie's mom's witch's tent.

Employees at Cafe Scoop restaurant in Ventura got into the spirit by dressing up as celebrities and characters from literature and the movies.

Jodi Mae portrayed the Uma Thurman character from the movie "Pulp Fiction," with a white shirt, black pants and a poor-fitting black wig.

A co-worker dressed as a waitress from Mars, wearing a slinky dress, fishnet stockings and cat-eye glasses, with her skin painted blue.

At The Oaks mall in Thousand Oaks, nearly all of the 183 stores handed out treats to children between 5 and 7 p.m. Tuesday.

"The kids love it and it's a safe place for the kids to go trick-or-treating," said Holly Morris, a customer service supervisor at the mall.

Pacific View shopping center and the Ventura Family YMCA hosted their annual Halloween trick-or-treat family fun night Tuesday afternoon.

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