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AUBURN — Merry-Go-Round Youth Theatre Artistic Director Lisa Chase said her two biggest passions in life are theater and Halloween.

That combination made a fundraiser centered around the holiday a natural idea, Chase said. The event featured people of all ages dressed as Alvin and the Chipmunks, cowboys and a ton of ninjas and witches, among others, at the West End Theatre in Auburn Saturday.

Chase — decked out as a crow — said she used items from an annual Halloween bash she used to hold at her own home for the celebration. She said she believed being able to dress up had a selfish element for her and other adults assisting with the event. 

Proceeds for the event will support educational programming held by the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse. Activities included an all-ages costume contest, arts and crafts, spooky stories, photos with someone dressed as Count Dracula and trick-or-treating in which children were able to knock on mobile doors to get candy. Christan McLaurine, dressed as a ghost, was the resident DJ, often mouthing the words to the hits he played.

Patrick Davis was dressed as a Sith Lord from the "Star Wars" franchise, complete with a red lightsaber. Nicole Davis, went as a witch, and sons Jude, who was a warrior from the video game "Skyrim," and Rosario, a ninja, all showed off their largely homemade outfits. The Davis family said they are big Halloween fans and have been trying to make their costumes  themselves — Jude's garb included car mats — to make the holiday even more memorable.

Amy Pine, who came with a group of family members, said it's difficult to find Halloween events for children in Auburn and praised the event.

"There's an opportunity here," Pine said. "I hope it expands."

Noelle Wheeling, 6, made crafts dressed as the character Eleven from the TV series "Stranger Things," rocking a purse made to look like an Eggo waffle. Noelle's mother, Beverly Wheeling, said the event allowed them to celebrate the  holiday and support the arts.

"We love Merry-Go-Round," Beverly said.

"And I love spooky stuff," Noelle said.

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Staff writer Kelly Rocheleau can be reached at (315) 282-2243 or kelly.rocheleau@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @KellyRocheleau.

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Education Reporter