RAHWAY, NJ — Rahway celebrated Halloween with a day of special events on Saturday, Oct. 29. Cars were parked and decorated for a trunk-or-treat in addition to a costume contest and parade. There was also a zombie walk and fireworks. Rahway’s Hamilton Theatre was transformed into a haunted theater for four-straight days, from Oct. 28 to 31. The city also participated in a global celebration of Michael Jackson, with a choreographed dance of “Thriller.”
Dancers dressed as zombies performed the routine at city hall.
Popular costumes included characters from Pokemon, “Alice in Wonderland,” Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Batman. Participants in the costume contest had to think more outside the box. Costume contest winner Rachel Ash, of Rahway ravishingly displayed her wings when she accepted the award.
“I wanted to dress as something interesting, so I decided to be a phoenix,” Ash told LocalSource in an interview.
“I have lights on my costume, which is supposed to be the fire.”
Another winner from the contest took home the prize for best adult costume. Her costume was too real; she was dressed as an elderly homeless woman. She held a can that read, “Will dance four money” as a prop. The winner for funniest costume went to a man dressed as Snow White.
The decorated car trunks took a lot of imagination as well. The Blair family turned their trunk into a graveyard full of skeletons.
“We have a collection of skeletons that grows every year,” Susanne Blair, of Rahway, told LocalSource in an interview. “It’s a collection that we decided to put on display.”
The family also shared how they got ideas from other popular influences such as music and movies.
“I was inspired by a lot of emo music,” Jack Blair of Rahway told LocalSource. “Musicians such as My Chemical Romance and Marilyn Manson gave me some ideas.”
In addition to performers, the family also had some items from home that had a spooky story behind it.
“I think the rocking chair where the skeleton is sitting is haunted,” Kaitlyn Blair, of Rahway, told LocalSource. “It always had a creepy vibe to it. I used to cover it with a blanket and put it in my brother’s room because I didn’t want it.”
The yellow brick road led to another car trunk that became the Emerald City, by the Nelson and Harmon families. They were inspired not only by the classic story, but also, “The Wiz Live!” Rahway’s Own teen Shanice Williams starred in the NBC production, which aired last year.
“It’s our first time participating in this event,” Paula Nelson, of Rahway, told LocalSource. “We got the idea from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and ‘The Wiz,’ so we figured it would be a fun way to spend some time with the family.”