Michael Bushnell

Despite being the 5th coldest Halloween on record in Kansas City, trick or treaters turned out for three different safe Halloween events in Northeast, including two new events, one at Healing House on St. John and another inaugural event at the Mattie Rhodes Center at 148 N. Topping Avenue.

The annual Scare-It Halloween event on Gladstone Boulevard in the Scarritt Renaissance neighborhood has been a neighborhood staple since 1995 when Old Northeast Incorporated partnered with the neighborhood association to sponsor a handful of safe houses on Gladstone Boulevard for a safe Halloween event.

Since that time it has grown in to one of the largest, safe Halloween events in the city, often drawing in excess of 5,000 visitors to the roughly twenty safe houses along Gladstone Boulevard.

Scarritt Renaissance President Amanda Kranz noted many successes with this year’s event. “We weren’t sure what to expect given how cold it was going to be,” Kranz said. “We believe we saw around 6,500 trick-or-treaters,” she added. This year SRNA focused on gathering volunteers to help the event run safely and smoothly. We are grateful to have had 25 people from the neighborhoods of the NE as well as KCU students help us through!”

Last night, revelers lined up in advance of the 5:30pm start time to get a jump on the crowds. One of the favorite houses was the Stevens House, directly across from the Kansas City Museum.

Each year, homeowners Jeff Zumsteg and Jeff Linville cook up a different theme to produce an over the top Halloween experience for guests. This year’s theme was “Rock is UnDead,” and featured volunteers costumed as different rock stars dating from the late 1950’s Elvis Presley to the legendary Freddie Mercury of Queen and modern day KISS front man Gene Simmons.  “We had about a dozen volunteers and the high winds delayed our set up,” said Jeff Zumsteg. “It all came together quickly at the end and once again it was a magical evening seeing the excited kids and their parents makes it all worth it.”

Healing House, a local faith based, recovery organization located at 4505 St. John Ave. also hosted a safe, Halloween event for area kids. According to Marketing Coordinator Garrison Galley, the event was a huge success. “We ended up with almost 300 kids and their families,” said Galley. “We really wanted to do this for the kids in the community and make sure they had a great Halloween experience.”

This year, the Mattie Rhodes Center on N. Topping hosted their first community Trunk or Treat from 3:30 to 5pm on Tuesday. According to Anthony Rea, MRC’s Youth Development Coordinator, the event drew roughly 200 trick-or-treaters, mostly from James Elementary School following their dismissal. Kids were “loaded up with treats and MRC resource information” as well as tips for having a safe Halloween.