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updated: 10/18/2012 3:26 PM

Villa Park's Halloween Happenings offers spooky fall fun

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Through the dark and the fog and the flashing strobes, a big, slobbery dog lurks. He's the Beast, and he holds all of the baseballs captive.

And the candy too.

The scene is a trick-or-treat stop at the third annual Halloween Happenings in Villa Park. The Scary Lot stop, Villa Park Youth Baseball's spooky spin on the movie "The Sandlot," is among more than 16 scenes created by businesses and organizations. Halloween Happenings runs 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19.

The free event begins with trick-or-treating outside the Iowa Community Center, 338 N. Iowa Ave., followed by scarecrow-making inside.

At The Scary Lot, the Beast probably won't really be so scary. He'll probably be a friendly pet. But in the dark, with the fog and strobe lights and other fall decorations, he might look a tad more menacing.

"We enjoy doing it," said David Espinoza, uniform director of Villa Park Youth Baseball. "We know that's our future, so we pass out fliers about our league, and we meet the parents and talk to them. We just have a good time with it."

This year, prizes go to the best outdoor Halloween displays.

"It's just going to be a nice, easy, fun time," Espinoza said. "We're going to pass out some candy and meet some new people."

Following trick-or-treating, people may wander inside for a scarecrow decorating contest. Participants must preregister and bring their own scarecrow accessories. Scarecrows come with a head and newspapers to stuff them.

Halloween Happenings is co-sponsored by the Villa Park Lions Club and the Villa Park Parks and Recreation Department.

It's become a popular event for participants and organizers alike, said Jenny Casale, program supervisor and with the Villa Park Recreation Department.

"There's people all over, and it's so neat," she said. "It's such a nice feeling -- especially if the weather cooperates. There's the rustling of the leaves as the kids go trick-or-treating. Oh, it's so cute."

For information, call (630) 834-8970 or (630) 834-8525 or visit invillapark.com.

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