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Turn out with the family for Nederland’s Monsters in the Park on Friday

(Editor’s note: This story has been updated to give the correct day of the event, which is Friday/Oct. 11. The News regrets the error from a previous version.)

NEDERLAND — Nederland Parks and Recreation is kicking off the season Friday with its sixth annual Monsters in the Park event. The event is open to the public and takes place from 5 to 9 p.m. at Doornbos Park.

Department director Angela Fanette said the fun spurred out of a need for events that take place during cooler temperatures.

“We do a lot of things throughout the summer time, but this is a way to enjoy fall,” she said. “We put together this program to have some different things for the kids to do that has a haunted house, fall festival type of feel.”

Fanette wants the event to be a little scary in essence but remain appropriate for families and small children. The spooky aspect comes through with activities such as the haunted forest and hidden maze.

Additional activities include broom relays, pumpkin painting, jack-o-lantern competition, face painting and more. This year’s event will also include a petting zoo.

Costume contest sign ups are between 5-5:45 p.m. with three different eligible categories. Kids costume contest will take place at 6 p.m., family/group costume at 6:20 p.m. and pet costume at 6:40 p.m. All winners will be announced at 6:50 p.m. Friday.

Fanette said every year the main thing that changes is the theme — 2019’s theme is magic.

“Our staff is working on having a visit from a local magician to do pop up magic throughout the park,” she said. “Tony Trevino is a volunteer and we appreciate him taking time out of his day to come entertain the community.”

To keep in tune with the event’s theme, Hocus Pocus will be playing at 7 p.m. Friday after the announcement of the contest winners.

Stacey Pinner, recreation and aquatics assistant for Nederland Parks and Recreation, is a huge fan of Halloween and Hocus Pocus.

“Monsters in the Park is one of my favorite events that we do,” she said. “We have an enchanted forest, costume contests and mazes. It’s going to be pretty exciting. The weather is going to be chilly and we have people selling hot chocolate so it’s going to be a great event.”

Non-profit groups will be selling hot dogs, pizza, drinks and popcorn. Fanette said she wants to thank all her staff, non-profits and volunteers that make the event possible.

“We like to see people pitching in and helping with this event,” she said. “We appreciate our volunteers. We have our core staff and volunteers help us come in and do activities and hang out.”

Fanette said she wants to encourage the community to come out, enjoy the nice weather and have fun at this family friendly event.

“It’s a really nice feel out here,” she said. “We want people to come out and enjoy it. It’s really enjoyable for our staff too. We dress up and love getting it ready. It’s not a trick or treating event, it’s just an additional event for people to enjoy this weather and spend some time in the park.”

Doornbos Heritage Park is located at 2301 Avenue H in Nederland. For more information, contact Angela Fanette at 409-724-0773.