Kids in Winnipeg were decked out and ready for Halloween all day Wednesday, even as they were heading to school in the morning.
At La Verendrye elementary school on Lilac Street, in the city's Fort Rouge neighbourhood, the doors opened to lions, witches, archers, astronauts, hockey players and superheroes.
Even the staff got into the spirit, so to speak, with costumes from clowns to pirates.
And all those costumes, from the wee ones in nursery to the seniors in Grade 6, will get the chance to show off their creativity during a parade through the school.
The Grades 4, 5 and 6 students will then get treated to Halloween festivities in the gymnasium during the afternoon, while the other grades will celebrate with classroom parties.
"Our gym teacher, he has prepared the gym with all these different stations that kids can be active and have a Halloween theme. So just to have a lot of fun and enjoy the day," said La Verendrye principal Vince Audino.
While the school welcomed Halloween with open arms, there were rules against some arms: weapons or items depicting violence — swords, guns, knives, devil’s forks —had to be left at home.
1st Halloween for some children
Over at the Needs Centre for War-Affected Families, children from countries like Somalia and Pakistan — all of whom arrived in Winnipeg in the last month — were introduced to trick-or-treating and carving pumpkins.
Instructor Ben Shedden said most of the children seem to enjoy Halloween, even the scary parts.
"We haven't had any problems in the past. Some students have been a little apprehensive; some of the older students, they're not quite as into it," Shedden said.
"But for the most part, kids are kids, and what kid doesn't love to dress up and play and get candy, right?"
The Needs Centre helps children and their families make the transition to life in Canada, and Shedden said taking part in Halloween is part of that transition.
"That's one of the joys of working here: you get to experience, like, Halloween through the eyes of kids who've never had it before," he said.
"To them, they're just so excited and so happy, and they're filled with wonder."
Meanwhile, the haunting season has also taken over several homes in the city, with decorations ranging from a few simple pumpkins to elaborate theatrics, such as this: