ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Halloween – a night of the bizarre and the scary – served as a needed moment of normalcy for many in the St. Amant area.
Many neighborhoods in Ascension Parish are still recovering from August's historic flooding. In some neighborhoods, trick-or-treating is simply not a possibility.
"There's a few kids out there, I know there are, that when they peek out their window or their door that they see homes on either side or down the street, that are still under repair or not yet started," said Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley.
Wiley, along with leaders from St. Amant Middle School and the St. Amant Fire Department, organized a trick-or-treat night called "Boo and the Badge." Dozens of local organizations – including Crimestoppers – passed out candy. Kids also had a chance to explore a Haunted House and get an inside look at some sheriff's office vehicles.
Leaders were overwhelmed by the hundreds of family showed up. One after another, a seemingly endless line-up of little ghosts and goblins opened their baskets while hunting for the beloved Halloween treasure: candy.
"My favorite part about Halloween is getting all the candy and getting to dress up," said 8-year-old Kylan Miano, who goes to St. Amant Elementary School.
"You look at their faces, and they're having such a good time. And it's so good to see them smile, a genuine smile with really no cares this evening. That's what it's all about," said Christy Bourgeois, the principal at St. Amant Middle School. "Ascension Strong was our tagline before the flood happened for this year, and we've just been that: Ascension Strong."
Krissy Highwater came to the event with her two children. Her Gonzales home flooded back in August, forcing her to move temporarily to a place just north of LSU. Still, she felt she needed to bring her kids back to Ascension to trick or treat.
"We've all been displaced, but it's nice to see so many people from the community back in one place for an event like this," Highwater said.
Highwater got in on the action along with her kids. She was dressed as Glinda from the Wizard of Oz. Her costume, perhaps, a little symbolic.
"I cannot wait to bring us all back home, so the theme is let's get back home. Glinda the Good Witch is able to do that," she said, joking about tapping her heels together.