St. Mary’s Costume Parade


An EF-5 tornado may have postponed a Halloween tradition for a few years, but it couldn’t stop the event altogether.

Residents as well as employees inside the communities of Wildwood Ranch look forward to Halloween each year because they get special visitors from nearby St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School.

Before the 2011 tornado, Students at the original St. Mary’s used to walk across the street to the Greenbrier Nursing Home on Halloween. In fact, some of the employees here used to work at 

But the tornado put the fun event on hold until the new school building opened up a few years ago — now, the tradition continues. While most of the costumes come from the store, some come from imagination and ingenuity.

“So where did you get all this stuff?” I asked.

“Mostly my house, like we found it all in my room,” says Olivia Childers.

“Your tie is from where?”

“My brothers room,” says Childers.

“I’m glad they do this, I think it brightens everyone’s day, it’s one of the few days I can dress I can dress silly and get away with it,” says Dr. Bruce Akuna.

Annette Taylor has been part of this 40 plus year tradition, both as a student and as a teacher. And each year teachers have a theme when they dress up.

“This year’s theme, we are all story book characters,” says Annette Taylor.

“So who you are?” I asked.

“I am Franklin from the Franklin book series,” says Annette Taylor.

“What are some of the other teachers?”

“We have Curious George, Pete the Cat, Sam I Am, There is Mary Poppins and Ms Frizzle and Ms. Nelson is Missing and many others,” says Taylor.

Greg Stremel also made these trips when he was a student, now he provides the transportation to and from the school.

“I’m taking our farm truck, semi tractor with a trailer and I’m hauling the children from St. Mary’s over here to Wildwood, this is about the 4th year I’ve done it, my son Alex is in 2nd grade now and we enjoy it,” says Greg Stremel.

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