First ‘spooks’ set for annual treats
Dressed in a pointed black hat with feathers at the rim, Nevada’s first lady Dema Guinn won’t be casting any spells on Halloween. But she and husband Gov. Kenny Guinn will be handing out treats to young trick-or-treaters.
The Governor’s Mansion is fully decorated – with the help of ground crews and trusties – as area residents anticipate the excitement and fun of the state’s birthday, which falls on Halloween.
Black cats, spiders, rats, bats, pumpkins by the dozen, ghosts, hay, a werewolf and even the Wicked Witch of the West adorn the mansion grounds. Two coats of armor stand guard at the north driveway – next to the cemetery where Freddie Kruger awaits an innocent passerby.
“I’ve got M&Ms and Tootsie Roll Pops to hand out,” Dema Guinn said.
“I went to the schools and surveyed the kids and asked them what they wanted. They used to hand out popcorn, and it made such a mess, and the kids didn’t want it anymore. They told me they want candy.
“The M&Ms come in a container that can be opened and closed, and it’s completely sealed.”
Governor and Mrs. Guinn will welcome trick-or-treaters Friday beginning around dusk. Special accommodations will be made for disabled children. The lights go out promptly at 9:30 p.m. The couple will also pose for photos.
More than 100 volunteers, including entertainers, work behind the scenes to present the festivities. Tents will be in place on the driveway for shelter, and heaters will be placed near the porch. Friday’s weather outlook is for mostly cloudy skies with a slight chance of snow showers. Daytime highs will be in the mid-upper 40s.
“We have so many people wanting to volunteer we have a waiting list,” Dema Guinn added.
“We will also have my grandson, Blake Guinn, who is a freshman at the University of Nevada, Reno, and his fraternity friends in costume will help us out as Frankenstein, the Werewolf and others.”
Blake Guinn, 18, is a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
“This is just so much fun, we think it’s the greatest,” the first lady said.
“The kids wanted more lights so we’ve added lights. We’ve added a stage for the entertainment, and I have the cutest clown coming this year.”
Guinn said a tank from the National Guard will also be on display in honor of this year’s parade theme, “A Salute to Veterans.”
“The National Guard will be here to explain to the children all about tanks and what job they do. I think it’s going to be fun.”
The Governor’s Mansion will be open for tours ed by the first lady from 2-4 p.m. Saturday.