The Athens Halloween Game Night is an evening for residents of Athens to celebrate Halloween in a safe and family-friendly environment.
Halloween Game Night has been going on since the 1960s in Athens, but Laura Sowers, the program specialist for the Athens Community Center, believes this is the first year that the night will incorporate a theme.
“I just really like themes and dressing up myself, and the idea inspires my staff and prompts them to dress up, too,” Sowers said. “With the theme of ‘Under the Big Top,’ I just thought the event and theme went hand-in-hand with the recent popular movie, The Greatest Showman. I thought it would be perfect to spark some interest.”
The theme of “Under the Big Top” will include carnival games such as the classic sledgehammer game, ring toss and alien pinball. DJ Rockin’ Reggie will also be there to provide dance music. The event will be hosted in the gymnasium of the Athens Community Center on Thursday night.
“Bedrock Party Rentals graciously will be sponsoring six games that the kids will hopefully enjoy,” Sowers said. “But we will also be having DJ Rockin’ Reggie who plays his own games with the kids. He puts on a really good program, so we’re thrilled to have him back again this year.”
The Athens Halloween Game Night will directly follow the Athens City trick-or-treat, with a parade led by the Athens High School Marching Band and sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Athens.
The Halloween Game Night has worked in partnership with the Kiwanis Club for many years on this event. The Kiwanis Club hosts the small parade before the game night that any child and their family can participate in.
“It’s a small thing, but it’s something Kiwanis always hosts,” Sowers said. “They judge the kids’ costumes as well when they’re in the gym, and have their own prizes they give out to the kids.”
Many families from surrounding counties come to Athens for the trick-or-treat event and end up checking out the Halloween Game Night as well.
“We have a lot of neighboring communities that come for the trick-or-treating from Nelsonville to Trimble and the Albany area,” Sowers said. “There’s been 600-700 people that have come, so it’s pretty busy and gets pretty packed, but it’s a lot of fun.”
Jayda Morgan, a sophomore studying political science, thinks it’s very sweet that Athens puts on something like a Halloween Game Night for the families of Athens County.
“OU definitely has a big Halloween rep for college students, so it’s awesome there’s something else out there for people to do,” Morgan said. “I don’t think I’ll go, but I still think it’s a nice idea.”
Grant Crowley, a senior studying geography, sees it as an opportunity to do something for the Halloween season that doesn’t involve drinking.
“I think that sounds like a pretty good idea, especially for the people who don’t plan on getting intoxicated this Halloween,” Crowley said. “I’d definitely check it out if I had a friend to go with.”