Irving – Witnessing a couple of demons tossing a severed human head around like a football, or a blood-thirsty zombie appearing out of nowhere and scaring you half silly, before offering up a fist full of 3 Musketeers and Milky Way bars with a hearty, “Y’all have a good evenin’ now, and Happy Halloween,” is rare in Irving.
By this time, the Parker family, mom, dad, and four pint-sized Parkers, had already seen a dead married couple wave at them, a warlock put a spell on them, a carriage riding skeleton stare at them, and a ghoulish woman ask if they wanted to buy a bucket of deep fried eyeballs for the ride home.
“We were fine until that zombie,” dad, Matt Parker, said. “That’s when we pretty much lost it. I still don’t quite know where she was hiding.”
“[She] literally scared me to death,” mom, Hattie Parker, said.
That was the point for those souls brave enough to venture through Eerie Irving Park, presented at Trinity View Park on Saturday. Families enjoyed the unique drive-thru experience where participants could “see Halloween frights from the comfort of your own car.”
Vehicles filled to the capacity drove slowly through the park as riders saw sorts of horrific and some not-so-horrific sights. At the entrance, all children under age 15 were handed a commemorative bucket to fill up with candy at nearly every stop-if they had the courage to stop.
“Believe me, this is far better than going door to door,” Irving water conservation specialist Jon Mahoney said. Mahoney and his Water Utilities colleagues handed candy with information that could be just as scary about household clogged drains and pipes.
“We’ll give you all the candy you want. But if you have a question about water utilities, we’ll give you everything you need,” he said.
When exiting Eerie Irving Park, each vehicle received a pumpkin to take home and decorate with the family.
This was the first year for Eerie Irving Park. By 6 p.m. with three hours left, cars were lined up along Loop 12 and Irving Boulevard, S. Wildwood Drive and along 6th Street.
“We expected a good turnout but this is beyond what I imagined in terms of the number of people coming out and everything else,” Amy Kincaid, one of the organizers, said. “We expected about 1,000 cars, but we far exceeded that, I’m sure.”
Decked out in a bright yellow hazmat suit and zipping around in a golf cart, Kincaid said they invited each city of Irving department to participate. Many of them did, coming up with their own themes and costumes.
Irving’s Communications Department, for example, decided on witches and wizards, complete with the Sanderson Sisters from the movie ‘Hocus Pocus.’ Cathy Whiteman of the Irving Community Television Network sat in a chair casting spells with her wand and shouting, in a near perfect British accent, “Have you been sorted, yet?”
“I’m from North Carolina,” Whiteman said. “[The accent] comes from my days of doing theater. Our group, because we’re nerds, decided on ‘Harry Potter,’ so it fit.”
Resheda Scott, a recreation specialist, seemed to have far more fun as a zombie than the carloads of people she frightened.
“I’m a big fan of ‘The Walking Dead,’” said Scott, who tutored her high school volunteers on Zombie impersonation: relax the body, walk out of step, lose coordination, avoid a straight path.
Scott and her blood thirsty cohorts were a part of an off-the-beaten-path section of the park, where making a right turn put you in a Zombie Apocalypse. However, this section of the park was recommended for families with older children.
“You go up that hill over there, and you’ll find some really scary looking zombies. I mean far scarier than us,” Scott said.
Lisa Miller, of the human resources department, spent the evening waving, her other hand holding a bouquet of flowers to commemorate her wedding. Along with hubby Pete Miller, a member of the Parks Board. They represented the dead married couple, Allie and Noah, from the romance movie ‘The Notebook.’
Lisa Miller wore an antique, off-white dress. Pete Miller wore a black tux that looked like it was from the 1920s. No make up. No hatchets. No blood.
“Still, they’re a little creepy,” said Jocelyn Nathan, who rolled through with her husband and 10-year-old daughter.
“Maybe it has something to do with them standing next to their own tombstone,” her husband, Cliff, said.
“They have a great, loving relationship, and then they die,” Lisa Miller said.
The Millers seemed certain this Halloween experience would live on after COVID-19.
“It seems like a great concept, to have the cars come through, like you can do in neighborhoods with Christmas lights,” Pete Miller said. “I really don’t see this going away anytime soon.”
You can check out photos from the event below:
Photos by Kenneth Perkins
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