School was out and the Te Awamutu Light Party was in on Thursday as thousands flocked to Selwyn Park for the annual Halloween event.

Organised by the Combined Churches of Te Awamutu and in its 16th year, the free event serves as a safe Halloween alternative to trick-or-treating around the streets.

This year over 100 volunteers from 10 churches pitched in to ensure the event ran smoothly.

Te Awamutu Intermediate student Cameron Penny tries his hand at Black Board Catch.
Te Awamutu Intermediate student Cameron Penny tries his hand at Black Board Catch.

Organiser of the event and member of the Te Awamutu Bible Chapel, Shane Wildermoth, said the highlight of running the event was seeing families out in the community.

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"The Light Party is about getting our community out and enjoying this night. I like seeing all the families and their children sitting on the grass eating their sausage sizzle," Shane said.

He predicted that up to 5000 people would have come through the event and said that all 6000 sausages bought for the event were given away.

Over 2000 fizzy drinks were also given away and 320 loaves of bread used.

There were games, face painting, balloon animals and rides.

Mahon's Amusement was back and with a new ride, the Miami, which proved to be a fan favourite with the longest wait line.

Mahon's Amusements Miami ride. Photo / Caitlan Johnston
Mahon's Amusements Miami ride. Photo / Caitlan Johnston

While not many got into the Halloween spirit and dressed up for the event, one family did stand out in the crowds.

Kira Sunnex, dressed as Princess Jasmine, has been bringing her sons to the event for seven years. Eleven-year-old Mahonri dressed up as a ninja and 8-year-old Zion as an army soldier, who also won a prize from his favourite game.

"My sons really like to play all the games. Zion has been playing the teddy bear ring toss for four years and never won a teddy until now," Kira said.

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Shane thanked the Te Awamutu Community Board for their funding support towards the road closure and traffic staff, Pak'nSave for their ongoing support and the volunteers and churches who were involved.