Kids, town employees get in on the Halloween fun

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By Nick B. Reid

Hampton Union, November 1, 2013

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

 Stacy Mazur in costume
Stacy Mazur, new teen librarian at the Lane Memorial Library in Hampton,
dresses up for the Hampton Recreation Halloween parade on Thursday afternoon.
[Rich Beauchesne

 HAMPTON — The halls of the Lane Memorial Library and the Town Offices were filled with monsters Thursday, as dozens of youngsters paraded through before they left to go trick-or-treating.

Hampton's Halloween parade had a theme for the first time, as all the town employees on the tour adopted the personalities and costume of the characters of the film "Monsters University," which was released on DVD this week.

Recreation Director Dyana Martin, dressed as James P. Sullivan, a tall, blue, furry monster, led the group as it began its parade into the library, where they were met by employees at the front desk with their faces painted red, green and yellow.

"I'm Roz the Scare Floor Manager," growled a woman painted yellow to appear as the slug-like character from the movie. She held out a pumpkin filled with candy, from which the kids carefully plucked their allotment — and no extra — so as to not incite the Roz.

Then they made their way to the back of the library, where they were met by a scaly dragon-looking e mployee with more candy, and weaved their way through the bookcases before going downstairs. There, Library Director Amanda Cooper led them into the Scream Room — typically, it's called the Lane Room and is host to movies, but on Thursday it was dark and lined with black lights, glow sticks and other glow-in-the-dark accessories.

"Do you remember what they use to have power in the movie?" asked Cooper.

"Screams!" responded the children.

Cooper counted down and the children let loose their best Halloween screams, a novel experience to take place in the library. The Scream Room was one of a few "challenges" that were planned for the parade, meant to parallel the challenges the monsters in the movie must face; however, the other events, with the exception of a lollypop-creating station, had to be canceled because of the drizzly weather Thursday afternoon.

Two cats, a few pumpkins, a trio from the Harry Potter series, a ninja, Mario, a princess and several monsters then made their way to the next stop, the Town Offices.

There, they went up and downstairs and were greeted all along the way by various town employees adopting the Halloween theme.

Town Attorney Mark Gearreald, wearing a long, white Victorian wig, posed as a professor at Monsters University, while Town Planner Jamie Steffen dressed as Mike Wazowski, another central character in the movie, and Finance Director Mike Schwotzer and Tax Assessor Ed Tinker donned some clothing with the movie's logo.

"A lot of them were like, 'I really don't know what to do'," said Martin of her efforts to get the employees to comply with the theme. "I said, 'Just get some fur and we'll get you a shirt and a hat.'"

The experience, complete with streamers and balloons throughout the Town Officers, came the day after a Spirit Night was held in Depot Square. There, the Tony O Band played and magician Darren Yong wowed the 200 or more attendees, Martin said.

Yong did closed-hand magic, she said, that included taking a restaurant owner's cell phone and slyly slipping it inside a balloon, turning a $1 bill into a $20 bill, and turning a deck of cards into a block of plastic, then proceeding to pull a card with a person's name on it out of his mouth.

"He was swarmed with kids all night," Martin said.

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