Sarah Linn and her daughter, Tessa, look at the carved pumpkins given to the foxes at Treehouse Wildlife Center’s first-ever, Owl-A-Ween Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, in Dow, Ill. (Leah Sutton | @leahsuttonphotography)
Sarah Linn and her daughter, Tessa, look at the carved pumpkins given to the foxes at Treehouse Wildlife Center’s first-ever, Owl-A-Ween Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, in Dow, Ill.

Leah Sutton | @leahsuttonphotography

Gallery: Halloween 2020

October 31, 2020

Families all over the country are celebrating Halloween as a way to get out of the house during the pandemic. A few spooky events that occurred around southern Illinois can be viewed below.

Owl-A-Ween

Treehouse Wildlife Center in Dow, Ill., would usually host their Owl Fest in October.

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Owl Fest is one of their largest fundraisers would typically bring in an average of $8,000. It is a two-day long event that attracts crowds of up to 2,000 people.

The Treehouse Wildlife Center was unable to host their traditional event this year because of the pandemic, so they adapted the festival to enforce social distancing and dubbed it “Owl-A-Ween.”

They had participants pre-register for a spot and only allowed four groups staggered at different times of up to 25 people.

“We’re working with the Jersey Co. Health Dept. to ensure that we’re keeping all of our safety guidelines and so we needed to keep an area just particularly for our event, so once they hit the last station, they’re considered to be out of our event area,” Kelly Vandersand, the center’s fundraising coordinator, said.

Visitors remained outside for the entire event but were allowed to go into the center to use the restrooms and view their new Mississippi Kite, a small bird of prey.

For $10, visitors received a Halloween treat bag to fill at the trick or treat stations. 

“They’re trick-or-treating and everything is designed for them to take home and do [crafts, word searches, animal coloring pages, and more] because we just don’t have the space to keep the social distancing. They walk through our event area and then exit our controlled area and then walk around to see all of the animals,” Vandersand said. 

“It’s definitely not going to match what we were missing from our Owl Fest, but it’s something that keeps us relevant, it gets people out here to enjoy it,” Vandersand said. 

During Owl-A-Ween, Vandersand was happy to report that they had made over $500 at that time and had also been receiving donations from people at the event.

To show support and help the center out, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (INDR) also made an appearance at the event.

 “It’s been a tough year. We’re helping them raise some money so that they can feed the animals here and just make a presence,” Kayla Alexander, natural resource coordinator for INDR said. “It’s a great place to be able to social distance and interact with people, teach people about wildlife and it’s a beautiful day on Halloween!”

(See more: Animal rehabilitation in the midst of a pandemic).

Photo Editor Leah Sutton can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @LeahSutton_

To stay up to date with all your southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

Halloween Comicfest at Castle Perilous Games and Books

 Castle Perilous Games and Books hosted a trick-or-treat event that featured free comics, free candy, a Yu-Gi-Oh Phantom Rage Sneak-Peek, a Pokemon Vivid Voltage Pre-release and tarot readings by Brandon Hale.
 Brian K. Morris, a comic book author and his wife, Cookie Morris, attended the event to promote Brian’s work and celebrate Halloween with the store’s patrons.

Staff Photographer James Allen can be reached at [email protected] 

To stay up to date with all your southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian onFacebook and Twitter.

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