Carlton County schools celebrate Halloween

From drive-thru parades to virtual costume parties, teachers got creative with ways for students to dress up and have fun last week.

Wrenshall student Gia Liimatainen waves to teachers during a drive-thru Halloween parade at the school Friday, Oct. 30. (Photo courtesy of Ellie Swanson)

Halloween posed a peculiar problem for kids looking to pick up something sweet to snack on during the pandemic, but some local schools and classes found alternate ways to have fun.

In Wrenshall, teachers created a drive-thru parade for kids to show off their costumes and pick up a few treats to take home. Kids wore costumes and dressed-up teachers handed out candy to students walking or driving by.

Wrenshall kindergarten teacher Suzy Berger distributes candy during the school's drive-thru Halloween parade Friday, Oct. 30. (Photo courtesy of Ellie Swanson)

Students in Cloquet celebrated with a variety of in-person and virtual celebrations. Students in Heather Young’s fourth grade class at Washington Elementary School had a small party in their room, while Theresa Parenteau, a second grade distance learning teacher at Washington, held a virtual party using Google Meet.


Washington Elementary School fourth grader Milo Romanini shows off some of his haul during a Fall Festival party in Heather Young's class Friday, Oct. 30. (Photo courtesy of Heather Young)

Students wore their costumes to Parenteau’s virtual party and before turning on their camera for the first time gave three clues to the class about their costumes. The students had picked up a “carnival bag” earlier that had eight games to play, as well as prizes and a snack.

Students in Theresa Parenteau's second grade distance learning class at Washington Elementary School celebrated with a virtual party using Google Meet. (Photo courtesy of Theresa Parenteau)

Parenteau, the self-described “Queen of Halloween” said not having students in-person this year has been difficult, but the virtual party was a good substitute.

“Not having my students with me in my classroom was something I was really struggling with,” Parenteau said in an email. “Like everyone else during this trying time, I tried to stay positive and come up with a ‘Plan B.’ Plan B was the best. We had so much fun together laughing and playing our games — many of the kids said they were going to play them with their families after.”


Jamey Malcomb has a been high school sports reporter for the Duluth News Tribune since October 2021. He spent the previous six years covering news and sports for the Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Cloquet Pine Journal. He graduated from the George Washington University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history and literature and also holds a master's degree in secondary English education from George Mason University.
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