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Autumn Fest offers area residents plenty of tricks and treats

The Halloween spirit of Shorewood-area residents awakened Sunday with an early chance to celebrate the holiday.

Shorewood Lions International’s Autumn Fest took place Oct. 30 at Town Center Park in Shorewood. Highlights at the annual event included live entertainment, food, crafts and hayrides. New to Autumn Fest this year was trunk-or-treating.

Noelle Viola, president of the Shorewood Lions Club, said Autumn Fest is designed to please people of all ages.

“It was just more of a community-family get together,” she said. “You know a last hurray of the season.”

Viola said she hopes the event informs the public of what the organization does.

“We try to make community awareness of what the Lions Club does,” she said. “What we do is we help with the visually impaired and hearing impaired of our community. That goes with everything from helping people who can’t afford glasses or hearing exams, to purchase glasses or get hearing aids.”

Jackie O’Hara, of Shorewood, said she’s glad she decided to drop in on the annual festival.

“It’s really great, they had a ton of kids come, so it was really fun,” she said.

O’Hara was spending the afternoon with her two daughters. She said it’s wonderful how Shorewood Lions International and the village of Shorewood teamed up to hold the event.

“(It’s nice) especially since [Halloween’s] on Monday this year, the kids can’t really go after trick-or-treating hours to a friend’s house and do a party,” O’Hara said. “This is a perfect opportunity to do it safe and go out and support the community and get some candy.”

Jackie’s daughter, Kelly O’Hara was dressed as Rey from the Star Wars franchise. The 8-year-old Shorewood resident said she decided to wear the costume because it’s her favorite character.

Kelly said she liked what Autumn Fest offers.

“I really liked trunk-or-treating and decorating the cars,” she said.

Nicole Piwowarski, of Plainfield, said it was nice getting into the Halloween spirit with her nine-year-old daughter, Morgan.

“It’s got lots of stuff for her to do,” she said.

Piwowarski said she thinks Autumn Fest serves as a nice alternative to traditional trick-or-treating, in part, because it’s safer.

Viola said she was pleased by the turnout for this year’s event.

“Just speaking of pieces of candy, we’ve given out over 500 pieces of candy, which means we’ve seen 500 children plus adults, so we did really well this year,” she said.

Shorewood Lions International raises about $5,000 annually through events to benefit the community, according to Viola.

“100 percent of our money that we raise stays local in our community, so we are just helping the seniors and children mostly,” she said.

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