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Creativity abounds at annual Lan-Oak Park District Halloween Parade

by Jamilyn Hiskes

LANSING, Ill. (November 6, 2019) – Halloween was still five days away, but participants in the 2019 Lan-Oak Park District Halloween Parade came dressed to impress early in the morning Saturday, October 26.

About 100 people of all ages and costume types gathered in the parking lot behind Kilroy’s (3502 Ridge Road) around 9:30 in the morning. From toddlers dressed as Pennywise the clown from Stephen King’s “It” to adults dressed as Beetlejuice from the 1988 film of the same name, the variety and creativity of costumes was apparent before the parade even began. Each participant signed in with a member of the Lan-Oak Park District staff and received a number for the costume contest afterwards.

The parking lot behind Kilroy’s looked like a Halloween party by 9:30 in the morning. (Photo: Jamilyn Hiskes)
Everyone wanted photos of the “Beetlejuice family,” who would go on to win the best overall costume in the contest. (Photo: Jamilyn Hiskes)

At 10:00am, members of the Lansing Fire and Police Departments closed off Ridge Road between William Street and Roy Street, and the spooky procession began. Early on a brisk Saturday morning, there weren’t many spectators lined up to watch, but those in the shops along Ridge paused their activities to watch from the windows and wave as the parade went by. If someone watching hadn’t been in the Halloween spirit yet, seeing the clowns and fairies and monsters strolling down Ridge Road could have done the trick.

From cuddly Care Bears to terrifying clowns, the diversity in costumes was enough to get anyone in the Halloween spirit. (Photo: Jamilyn Hiskes)
The creative costumes included a mother and her son dressed as Supemarket Sweep contestants. (Photo: Jamilyn Hiskes)
Some of the best costumes of the day were coordinated parent/kid costumes. (Photo: Jamilyn Hiskes)
The spooky parade proceeded down Ridge Road to Roy Street. (Photo: Jamilyn Hiskes)

The parade turned right down Roy Street and proceeded to Winterhoff Park, where children were given bags of Halloween candy and members of the Lan-Oak Park District deliberated on the costume contest winners. Commissioners Karen Adams, Micaela Smith, and James Long—who was decked out in his best Duck Dynasty apparel—took the small stage to thank everyone for their participation.

Lan-Oak Park District Commissioners Karen Adams (left), James Long, and Micaela Smith thanked everyone for participating in the parade and announced the winners of each category. (Photo: Jamilyn Hiskes)

“It’s so great to see everyone out this morning, and to see some of the best costumes I’ve seen in 25 years,” Long said.

The costume contest had categories such as “most original,” “scariest,” “most unusual,” “best group costume,” and “best overall.” Winners, announced by Smith, included a mother and her child dressed as Supermarket Sweep contestants, a family dressed as characters from the 2014 animated film The Lego Movie and a toddler dressed as a demonic Annabelle doll.

The award for best group costume went to the Spencer family for their homemade Lego costumes. (Photo: Jamilyn Hiskes)
A little girl dressed as Annabelle won the best baby award. Photo: Jamilyn HIskes)
The “most unusual” award went to Mother Goose. (Photo: Jamilyn Hiskes)
Commissioner James Long said this year’s parade included some of the best costumes he’d ever seen. (Photo: Jamilyn Hiskes)

“Thank you for coming out. It’s a beautiful day, so enjoy it,” Long said in closing.

Fore more information about the Lan-Oak Park District or to find out about future events, visit

Jamilyn Hiskes
Jamilyn Hiskes
Jamilyn Hiskes is a Loyola University Chicago School of Communications graduate and experienced journalist who enjoys writing stories about people, entertainment, and politics. She’s new to Lansing, but that only makes her more eager to learn about the town through her reporting for The Lansing Journal.