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Shell Factory holds early Halloween

By Staff | Oct 31, 2017

Even though most of them would be doing their trick or treating on Halloween, hundreds of kids came to the Shell Factory to try on their costumes and get in some early practice on Sunday.

The Shell Factory opened its Nature Park to kids of all ages as it celebrated Halloween on a beautiful fall day after some rainy weather the day before.

Kids got to do a lot of exploring in the Nature Park, feed the animals, get a look at the new alligators and stop for the occasional handful of candy at the various stations that volunteers handed them out.

Rick Tupper, CFO and marketing director at the Shell Factory, said the crowd may have exceeded last year.

“We did some different things. We had music out at the entrance of the Nature Park. Our dress-up guy Larry Wells is out front as Beetlejuice and we’re promoting our overnight camp stays as well,” Tupper said.

After the nature park trip, the kids had the opportunity to dance and take part in the costume contest, which was moved from the Dolphin Room to the great outdoors, and divided into four age groups.

The star of the show was the Colten LaPierre, 3, who played a police officer while dragging along his sister Skylynn, 1, in a wagon built to resemble a jail cell with a sign that read “Candy for Bail” on the side.

“My husband had seen it and said we should do this because next year, Skylynn will be 2, and be too big,” said Kristin Lapierre, their mom, whose family lives in Lehigh. “We built this out of one-by-twos and other stuff we had. We won a costume contest they had for our soccer league.”

That wasn’t the only cop/jailor tandem. Randall Mayes (inmate No. 842831) was handcuffed by his daughter, Ella, 6, who wants to be a police officer when she grows up.

“I stole a piece of her candy that she got the other day,” Randall said.

“No, you didn’t. You stole some money and a jewel,” Lynn said. “It was a red jewel. He’s going to jail for 10 days.”

“It must have been the sugar high that did it,” Randall said. “I hope I get out by Christmas.”

Heather Rodgers, of Cape Coral, brought her kids, one of them, 12-year-old Mateo, dressed as a plastic soldier painted all green, to the Shell Factory to have some fun.

“We’re still going to do traditional trick-or-treating. If this was on the same day as Halloween, we would still do thick-or-treating,” Rodgers said. “We painted the entire costume, even the hands.”

The day also featured two-for-one admission back into the Nature Park after 1 p.m., a free shave ice cone and mini-golf for anyone in costume, 20 percent off all Halloween items in the store, a special family fun park package and live entertainment in the Swamp patio and Dolphin Room from noon to 7 p.m.