Rodney Times : November 9th 2010
26 RODNEY TIMES, NOVEMBER 9, 2010 NEWS Little town gets away with murder Den resident: Zombie James Dentice at the Den of Doom. Hanging around, left: Strung up puppets Jaime Parkinson and Briar Wood. Dead set, below: Perhaps Riverhead should be renamed Riverdead for Halloween. Joining in the township event are, back, standing: Jordan Parkinson, Jaime Parkinson, Meg Gadd, James Dentice, Briar Wood, Henry Dyer. Front: Isaac Body, Charlotte Folan, Liam Body, and Reece Cook. One township goes all out for Halloween. The Riverhead Fright Night gets bigger each year, particularly now that its reputation as a safe -- but scary -- community event is established. About 200 people visited safe houses and scare houses'' on Sunday night, with the favourite event a Den of Doom at the Riverhead Scout Hall. Halloween participants met at the new Riverhead Courts where prizes were awarded for the best dressed before supervised groups of youngsters toured the houses. Jason Martin's lawn was covered in crosses, while Wendy A'Bear had a blackout tunnel, and the McKnight family also put much effort into doing up their yard. Donna Massey had a saus- age sizzle for trick or treaters, and some children had among their treats fruit and even tins of baked beans. But it was the Den of Doom which brought the screams. Visitors walked through a blackened maze with dangly bits touching their faces, and zombies slowly walking around scaring kids -- even someone sitting up in a coffin. Along the way they passed a murder house, a redlight room with surgeons amid fake blood splattered walls doing an operation. Huapai Butchery donated big meat bones and liver, along with a heart to hang from the ceiling for added effect. Down in the dungeon Little Red Hood sat crying, while some human puppets were hanging on strings. A mad man with a chain- saw fearwelled'' those leav- ing, with a warning for the faint-hearted or easily scared children not to enter this sec- tion. Tours through with the lights on were held for brave little kids with their parents if they dared. Sarah Wenzlick was voted the loudest screamer after her group of friends went through the den a few times -- some making six or seven forays. Organisers thank Judy- Anne Dentice, Rachael Parkinson, Heather Lundon, Karen Body, Jo Gadd, Bruce Parkinson and Shawn Dyer and all their children for an outstanding job and many hours decorating, along with Reece Cook who helped out. Dark and scary success Royal welcome: A Queen Anne ghoul and her assistant are ready to greet Hibiscus Coast Youth Centre visitors. Haunted House: A weird assortment of characters gathers at the Orewa centre. Ghosts and goblins terrorised the Hibiscus Coast Youth Centre during Halloween, along with murdered wives of King Henry VIII. The 16th century ghouls spooked all ages at the Orewa centre's first annual haunted house. This horrifying new event was the brainchild of the volunteer event committee -- a group of teens and young adults wanting to beat boredom for youth. ''My favourite part was watching the characters come to life,'' Tom, 19, says. ''One minute I was working with a group of perfectly sweet people and the next minute we were in this whole different world.'' Celestine, 16, and Ocean, 14, had the gruesome task of leading groups of eight through the maze of cobwebs. All the while being chased by the scorned, and armed only with a torch. Those brave enough to make it to the end had the opportunity to take a photo with Queen Anne, one of the wives beheaded on the king's orders. The weekend of Spookers-style fun had two age-appropriate evenings so children and their parents could relax and enjoy the experience. The centre believes in 'youth for youth' pro- gramming, young people creating ideas and learning how to see them to fruition. ''I never would have thought of a Halloween scare night,'' programmes director Mirika Flegg says. ''We have young people on our board of directors, employ youth leaders for after-school and holiday programmes and have an amazing group of youth volunteers -- there are always heaps of great ideas around here.'' Funding is needed though. The centre almost closed, but a new team of staff and volunteers remained determined to secure this community asset. ''We have worked purposefully since December to get our service delivery right,'' HBC Youth Council executive director Suzanne Booth says. ''That includes attracting business and commercial support to meet increased demand for youth services.'' The centre wish-list includes music, sound and lighting equipment, new tables for the art room, new computers, a storage con- tainer and a 12-seater van. Centre staff and volunteers thank BlueLight, Pride Security and Orewa police for helping make its first annual Haunted House a success. The HBC Youth Centre is at 214D Hibiscus Coast Highway near the Western Reserve. Phone (09) 426-5005.
November 4th 2010
November 11th 2010