Characters haunt Longwood for candy, fun and a good cause

Published 12:43 am Sunday, October 28, 2007

NATCHEZ — When Snow White stomped on Spider-Man’s toe because he took her candy; Snow White’s mother gave her a time-out.

And while Snow White learned her lesson, vampires, ghouls and zombies ran crazed through the hills at “The Return of the Legendary Longwood Carnival.”

The carnival organized by Melanie Downer and Gina Cauthen, volunteers with the Pilgrimage Garden Club was, held as a fundraiser for the Longwood house.

Email newsletter signup

And while fundraising is important, kids could care less.

Face painting, hayrides and a haunted house offered kids ample opportunity to think about things other than money.

“I really like to scare people,” said Sam Parker, 9. “It’s pretty fun.”

Parker’s costume was quite unique.

He was dressed as New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush, with a butcher knife.

Other costumes of the night included mummies, vampires and even the occasional Power Ranger.

This year’s Halloween carnival was also special because it, hopefully, marked the return of a long time tradition.

Downer said many years ago garden club members would all have large Halloween parties at their homes.

But the parties, over time, grew so large at each member’s house they decided to consolidate.

And the Longwood Halloween Carnival came to be.

While Downer was unsure why the club stopped having the party, she said the last carnival was sometime in the mid-1980’s.

“People loved going to that carnival,” she said.

So when Downer was given an opportunity to resurrect the carnival she jumped.

“We wanted a vintage old-fashion feel,” Downer said.

And Saturday’s event did have an ambience that many carnivals don’t.

There was no loud music, no over priced drinks and no corporate logos.

But the carnival is a fundraiser for Longwood.

And by the looks of Saturday’ crowd, about 300, the carnival was a success.

“The place needs some work,” she said. “Shutters, paint all kinds of stuff.”

Downer said if this year’s event goes well locals can expect to see it for years to come, hopefully.

Charles Feltus hopes the carnival will be back.

Feltus brought his 5-year-old daughter for her first Halloween carnival.

But for Feltus, the carnival was nostalgic.

Feltus said he would regularly attend the carnival as a youngster.

“It really was a good time,” he said. “And I’m glad she gets a chance to see it.”