“It’s all for (my kids),” said Michaela Birks. “It was cold waiting in line, but I knew it’d be worth it and they’d enjoy it once we got inside — it’s all for them, all for the kids.”
The lines were certainly long, with the line just to get into the community center stretching nearly all the way to TVA Credit Union Ballpark, as thousands sought to give their kids a good Halloween, one weather couldn’t ruin.
“It was really important (to bring my kids),” said Ian Gentry, whose daughter was a Greek woman and son a policeman. “We wanted them to be able to do something, so I’m glad they put this on for the kids.”
Eight-year-old Eva Hernandez Honeycutt, who came to the community center dressed as “Mary Poppins,” said she’d rather be trick-or-treating outside, but that she was having a fun time indoors with her family.
“This is really fun,” Hernandez Honeycutt said. “I’d rather be outside, but I think this is actually pretty good.”
And though the event came together on short notice, there was no shortage of support from Johnson City’s leaders and first responders, as firemen and police officers handed out candy and compliments on children’s costumes. Johnson City Mayor Jenny Brock — dressed as a fireman herself — also joined the fun, taking photos with kids and passing out candy to hard-at-work zombies, princesses and all other children in costume.
Langston Centre director and Jonesborough Alderman Adam Dickson was also handing out treats, and hoping to get some children involved with some of the Langston Center’s after-school programs.
“We want every child to succeed, achieve and be their best, so we need to take advantage of opportunities like this evening to promote the center and all its programs,” Dickson said.
And while having that opportunity to promote the center was great, Dickson was happy kids were at least able to have a Halloween, though it may not have been traditional in any sense of the word.
“Weather’s not the best, so we want to make sure everyone is safe and having a good time,” Dickson said. “It’s a great event; it’s always good to interact with the people.”