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McKeesport has Halloween treat in store for teens

| Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, 3:56 a.m.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Edward Bostedo of McKeesport Little Theater teaches McKeesport Area High School and Founders Hall Middle School students, who will volunteer for Zombies in the Park, to perform the 'Thriller' dance.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
McKeesport recreation board member Annette James, Carnegie Library of McKeesport children's librarian Jill Morse and librarian JoEllen Kenney praise 4-year-old Virginia May for her effort in making a pumpkin craft during a recent storytime.

Communities are offering a variety of Halloween events geared toward costumed trick-or-treating children, but McKeesport is trying something unique to appeal to teens.

The recreation board is partnering with McKeesport Little Theater and McKeesport Area High School to produce Zombies in the Park, geared toward 13- to 18-year-olds.

On Friday at 7 p.m., the Jacob Woll Pavilion and Lions Bandshell will be transformed into a haunted theater.

It will begin with an orientation briefing at the main pavilion, where a zombie apocalypse will play out on television.

The group will be guided through Renziehausen Park to the nearby bandshell, where Little Theater actors will perform a spooky skit in a mad scientist's laboratory. An on-stage accident will lead to a zombie invasion of the park, forcing kids back into the pavilion.

Zombie actors will teach Michael Jackson's “Thriller” dance to small groups while hot dogs and chips are served.

The pavilion will become kid-friendly again overnight, and preschoolers through age 12 are encouraged to take part in a parade on Saturday at 10 a.m. It begins at the tennis courts and moves to the pavilion, where Carnegie Library of McKeesport will have its annual pumpkin festival.

“Our pumpkin festival has been growing for the past several years,” librarian JoEllen Kenney said. “We outgrew our space at the library and were welcomed by the Heritage Center and Palisades in previous years. This year, we are bringing our pumpkins to the city event.”

Recreation board member Jennifer Shields said any time organizations work together, it's guaranteed to make a better program for children.

“This is our local library,” Shields said. “Kids not only are getting together to have fun and show off their costumes, but it's about literacy, too.”

Between activities, Mayor Michael Cherepko will read a Halloween-themed story.

Communities across the Mon Valley will celebrate the holiday.

• East McKeesport will host a Sunday parade for residents 12 and younger, with lineup at the post office at 1:45 p.m. At 2 o'clock, children will walk to the senior center where they will receive treat bags and prizes.

• In Glassport, trick-or-treating will take place early to coincide with Saturday festivities. A 12:30 parade will take borough kids along Monongahela Avenue from the senior center to the honor roll. Trick-or-treating will follow from 2-4 p.m.

• Lincoln will host a Kids' Halloween Treat at the borough building on Oct. 29 at 6 p.m.

• Indian Lake Park in North Huntingdon Township will be open to Norwin students ages 4 and older on Saturday from 4-9 p.m. Kids are invited to wear costumes. Treat bags will be provided.

• Irwin will have a costume parade Saturday at 3 p.m. in the Main Street business district.

• Pleasant Hills Lions Club will host its annual parade on Oct. 29 at 7 p.m., with the lineup along Audrey Drive at 6:30.

• Port Vue kids are invited to the borough building on Saturday for a parade and party from 2-4 p.m.

• West Mifflin's annual children's party is planned for Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to noon at West Mifflin Area High School. It is open to borough residents 12 and younger.

• Children are invited to trick-or-treat at Century III Mall on Thursday from 6-8 p.m. Kids can wear costumes and bring bags to collect candy. There will be activities for all ages and a guest appearance by a stilt-walking witch.

Traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating on Oct. 31 from 6-8 p.m. will be in Clairton (treats at city hall at 5 p.m.), Dravosburg (parade at 5 p.m.), East McKeesport, Elizabeth, Elizabeth Township (parade at 5 p.m. from middle school to municipal building), Forward Township, Homestead, Irwin, Jefferson Hills, Liberty, McKeesport, Munhall, North Huntingdon Township, North Irwin, North Versailles Township, Pleasant Hills, Port Vue, South Versailles Township, Versailles, Wall, West Elizabeth, West Homestead (parade and costume contest at 5:30), West Mifflin, White Oak and Wilmerding (costume contest at 5 p.m.).

Also on Oct. 31, traditional trick-or-treating will be in Duquesne from 5:30-7 p.m.; Lincoln from 6-7 p.m.; and Whitaker from 6-7:30 p.m.

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1956, or