IRVINGTON, NJ — A little rain didn’t stop the township from celebrating Halloween at the Irvington Police Department, on Thursday, Oct. 31. Despite the gloomy weather, the DJ had Irvington ghouls and goblins dancing, as residents ventured out to celebrate with the community and Mayor Tony Vauss, who oversaw the festivities during the Irvington Halloween Giveaway, a “Safe Halloween” event.
“Yesterday, my administration, the Department of Public Safety and the Municipal Council celebrated Halloween by distributing large bags of candy to the children in the community,” Vauss told the Irvington Herald on Friday, Nov. 1. “Despite the weather, the event was filled with cheer, many children and parents dressed in costume, and lively music.”
“We hold this event every year, to show our younger residents that we appreciate them, and also, to ensure they will have a safe and happy Halloween,” the mayor added.
Although the weather altered plans, the Irvington Public Safety Department made sure residents enjoyed safe, Halloween fun, as Civic Square was filled with trick-or-treaters dressed in their costumes, ready to celebrate.
While some Halloween costumes were scary and horrific, other costumes were as cute as can be. One memorable little boy was dressed as a lion, while a little girl held by a family member sported a precious rabbit costume. Some children were dressed as some of their favorite social media emojis, others as superheroes like Spider-Man, Batman, The Flash, Black Panther, Wonder Woman, the Hulk and Captain America. Those who opted for something scary came as werewolves, Freddy Krueger, frightening clowns, witches and ghosts.
Some adults also chose to team up, coming in costumes that matched with their little ones. One father and son conjured inspiration from the 1995 movie franchise “Toy Story,” with the father dressed as the character Woody and the son as Buzz Lightyear. And one mother-daughter pair were dressed in matching ladybug costumes.
One woman who attended the event really get into the Halloween spirit. With white hair, purple skin and octopus legs, it wasn’t difficult to tell she was dressed as Ursula, drawing inspiration from the 1989 Disney movie “The Little Mermaid.”
“We had a wonderful time here at the Halloween event,” said Irvington Detective Lt. Danny Cruz to the Irvington Herald on Monday, Nov. 4. “The Division of Public Safety and the Office of the Mayor did a Halloween Safe event for the community. What that means is, instead of the children and the residents going door to door, we wanted everyone to come here to the township. The Department of Public Safety, Mayor Tony Vauss and Public Safety Director Tracy Bowers thought about an event that the children can be around which was a safe, clean environment here within the township, receiving snacks and candy.”
“I feel as though the event was a great success,” Cruz continued. “Sgt. Shayla Marquez-Zepeda put a lot of effort and energy into this event and she does this every year. The turnout is getting better and better and it’s a great event that she puts together for the community and it comes from her heart, because it takes a lot to make it happen. This event becomes a great success, year after year, for the children of the township of Irvington.”
According to Irvington Detective Sgt. Shayla Marquez-Zepeda, a total of 200 bags of candy were handed out during the Halloween event, a surprise because of the inclement weather.
Irvington’s Halloween event wasn’t just for younger children, and teenagers came out too. Along with Cruz and other public safety department officers and the Municipal Council, which participated in the event, teenagers were able to fill their book bags with candy, enough to enjoy their holiday, even though they may not have been wearing costumes.
According to Cruz, everyone of all ages enjoyed themselves and the Public Safety Department had a great time.
“This annual Halloween event hosted by the mayor and Public Safety Department is a great time for our residents who have children,” said Bowers in a quote sent to Irvington Herald on Monday, Nov. 4. “Residents bring their kids to the municipal complex to get free candy and participate in various events in a safe environment. It feels good to see people enjoying themselves.”