WILKES-BARRE – Faith and fun went hand in hand at Sunday’s Halloween parade outside First Presbyterian Church on Franklin Street, as children “won” treats by answering questions about the Bible.
It wasn’t a parade in the traditional sense, but a constant stream of costumed children made their way to each of the tables set up by the church on their lawns, each with candy and a different set of spooky decorations.
“We would traditionally have a Halloween carnival here, and with COVID last year, we couldn’t do it,” said Pam Kearns, director of Christian education at First Presbyterian Church. “This year, we are settling here for the kids to come and pick up candy.”
Kearns mentioned that part of the reason for the outside setting was because the church kitchen was being renovated.
Upon arrival, the children made their way through four different stations lined up on the lawn, each led by a church volunteer.
Each volunteer would ask the children questions about their faith, questions such as “To whom did God impart the Ten Commandments?” and “How many of each animal did Noah take on his ark?”
A correct answer was rewarded with a gift bag full of candy. Answer badly… and get yourself a goody bag full of candy.
Each station also featured a unique setting: at a table, children were able to collect their own candy from inside the mouth of a whale, the same whale that the story says engulfed Jonah.
In another, children waiting for candy were frightened by a mysterious, skeletal hand that grabbed them under the table.
The parade lasted about an hour with no empty gift bags and no one was left unsatisfied.
The first two children to tour the tables were Jaiden and Jaylyne Seagar, 13 and 6 respectively, of Wilkes-Barre.
“We saw this on Facebook just earlier today,” said Melissa Seagar, the mother of the children. “It’s never too early to start stocking up on candy.