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SMAC offers safe but spooky delights at Kid’s Halloween Carnival

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Bad weather did not stop the Southern Miss Activities Council (SMAC) from hosting an afternoon of spooky fun at their annual Kid’s Halloween Carnival. 

The event was originally planned to be outside at Weathersby Lawn at 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Oct. 27. However, heavy thunderstorms in the area moved the event inside the R.C. Student Union. 

Children from around Hattiesburg were encouraged to wear Halloween costumes and stop by different booths to play games. Classic carnival games like ring toss and corn hole were available, as well as educational activities like making slime with the Polymer Science Club. There were also booths dedicated to face painting, trick or treating, photography and music to help keep festivities going. 

Most of the booths at the event were set up by student organizations. This included clubs like SMAC, the Vietnamese Club, the Social Club, the French Association and the Marine Conservation Club.

Jayla Jones, senior Marine Biologist major and the Events Director for SMAC, said SMAC enjoys hosting events like the Kids Halloween Carnival because it helps promote diversity on campus.

“We try to partner with other organizations to connect and get the community together,” said Jones.  

Makaela Durham, a senior Kinesio-Therapy major and the President of SMAC, said it takes a lot of work to host events like the carnival. However, she also said that it “feels freeing to live in the moment” after everything is put together and in action. 

“We at SMAC do events for the school campus and try to get the school engaged with the community,” said Durham. “We’re like a family. We try to be bigger [and] do better.”

Nuriel Perkins, a junior Biology major, was the main force in organizing the Kid’s Halloween Carnival as the event coordinator. She said the actual arrangement of the event went smoothly despite the unexpected weather.

Perkins also said she was especially glad to hold the carnival this year as, while an annual event, it was not able to live up to its full potential because of the pandemic. She believes being able to bring these fun activities back was delightful to Southern Miss and the local community.

“I hope that everyone enjoys it since it’s been two years [since it was properly held],” said Perkins. “I hope they have a fun time and eat a lot of candy. It’s a fun event for kids and students alike.”

Some of the booths tried to promote education while also having festive activities. Megan Hansen, a junior Marine Biology major and the President of the Marine Conservation Club, was happy to teach children about the kind of things that her club represents. 

“We are really excited to be back,” said Hansen. “Our table is about ghost fishing, and we are trying to make education fun for the kids. We are having the kids assimilate that they are a sawfish, and they get caught in a net. We just wanted the kids to have fun [and] the whole community enjoys it.”

Hansen said that her organization does clean ups of bodies of water in the Hattiesburg area. Their club is open to all majors, and no dues are required to get involved. 

The Kid’s Halloween Carnival not only helped fill the air with the Halloween spirit, but also helped connect different organizations on campus to the community. Adults and children gathered in creative costumes to enjoy a fun and informative afternoon out. To keep with other events SMAC hosts throughout the year, you can visit SMAC’s Facebook page by searching for the Southern Miss Activities Council or by following their Instagram @usm_smac.

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SMAC offers safe but spooky delights at Kid’s Halloween Carnival