Meraux’s ‘Boo at the Barn’ draws 2,000 for Halloween fun

By Annette Phillips, NOLA.com I The Times-Picayune

St. Bernard Parish was full of fall and Halloween festivities with school Fall Fests, pumpkin patches, a Trick or Trunk event at Sidney Torres Park, and Boo in the Barn event held at Docville Barn in Meraux. This was the second Boo at the Barn hosted by the Chalmette High School Key Club.

Key Club Advisor and Chalmette High teacher, Alison Schroeder, said they were happy to see over 2,000 people enjoy the event. “The crowd was amazing,” she said. “I was happy to see parents and kids enjoying themselves.”

The idea for Boo at the Barn was to create a safe, family-friendly Halloween event in St. Bernard and to help fund other Key Club projects.

“We wanted something that would appeal to families. We modeled the event after similar events in the New Orleans area,” Schroeder said.

The Key Club will use money from the event for Thanksgiving baskets and other community events the club hosts each year, such as the Easter Egg Hunt.

Schroeder said Boo at the Barn is a true community effort. Local schools helped to collect candy and many community businesses donated items. She said the Trist Builders Club volunteered with the Key Club to make the day as smooth and successful as possible. Key Club and Trist Builders Club members worked the various stations throughout the day which included trick or treat stations, craft stations, face painting booths, a bounce house, pumpkin patch, and a variety of games. “Kids were able to take home treats and pick a pumpkin,” she said.

Local dance or spirit teams performed throughout the day.

“We were so lucky to have some entertainment from Chalmette, Joseph Davies, and Arabi Elementary schools this year. The groups did such a great job and we loved giving them a performance opportunity for Halloween.” When there wasn’t a performance, music was provided by a D.J.

The treats, raffle items and gift cards were donated by local businesses Schroeder said.

“We solicit sponsorships from local businesses to develop a start up budget and we also solicit many donations,” Schroeder said.

The Chalmette High Key Club is a youth division of Kiwanis International. The Key Club works with the local Kiwanis St. Bernard-Arabi to gather food and assemble Thanksgiving baskets that are distributed to families in need within the St. Bernard Parish Public Schools.

“The main object of Key Club is to serve children and we are so glad that Boo at the Barn has been well received in St. Bernard, and it has easily become the highlight of the year for my Key Club members,” Schroeder said.

Schroeder said there were many, many individuals that helped make the event possible and a success. She credits the Meraux Foundation for hosting the event at Docville and for creating an amazing setting. She also thanks the Kiwanis Club of St. Bernard-Arabi for their continued support and partnership.

“Our community needs and wants events like this for our children, and that need perfectly fits our mission,” she said.

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