Event sets the scene for spookiest time of the year

The Advance of Bucks County - - NEWTOWN AREA - By Jeff Werner

NEW­TOWN – The sea­son of pump­kins, witches and ghosts crept ghoul­ishly onto State and Sy­camore streets on Satur­day with some haunt­ingly good fun.

Set­ting the scene for Hal­loween, more than 40 artists put their tal­ents to work, trans­form­ing store win­dows throughout the busi­ness dis­trict into cre­ative, some­times scary master­pieces that would make even Edgar Allen Poe shiver in fear.

At State and Cen­tre, Kasey Tay­lor turned Star­bucks into “Scare­bucks” in honor of the sea­son of screams and added a new drink to the cof­fee shop’s menu – blood – just in case the Count drops by for a late night bite.

Snoopy and Woodstock found their place on one of the large plate glass win­dows in front of the New­town Hard­ware House thanks to the tal­ents of a group of sixth graders from the New­town Friends School – Sofia Fras­cella, Jess Saft­las, Olivia Doody and Deanna DiFranco.

Across the street, a scene with a grue­some four­some was tak­ing shape on the win­dows of GAP Body. A witch, mummy, skele­ton and the Bride of Franken­stein, all wear­ing GAP Body clothes, is cour­tesy of artists Khara Levy of New­town and Gretchen Jonas of Buckingham. They head­lined their win­dow, “Don’t be scared. Love the body you’re in.”

“We thought this would be a fun way to spend the af­ter­noon,” said Levy, as she put the fin­ish­ing touches on the skele­ton.

“It’s a lot of fun. I used to do it when I was a lit­tle kid,” added Jonas, re­mem­ber­ing when her fam­ily painted pump­kins and other Hal­loween scenery on the win­dows of The Giv­ing Tree.

Down the street, cigarsmok­ing scare­crows ap­pro­pri­ately dec­o­rated the win­dows at Ned’s Cigar Store. That’s where Bill and Emily Grace Tid­well were fin­ish­ing up their work. Nearby, Vin­cent Leary of New­town was show­ing off his tal­ents on the win­dows of Coun­try­side Fram­ing and Rad­house Stu­dio with a se­ries of ghast­ly­look­ing im­ages.

Adding to the Hal­loween scene, Jaime Tay­lor was catch­ing a lot of at­ten­tion at the State Street Cafe with her por­trait of Franken­stein with a ghostly cup of cof­fee. And at Al­legheny Art, Sarah Kaizar of Rich­boro was send­ing chills through the street with a grave­yard of bones and a spooky look­ing haunted house.

But the Hal­loween chills didn’t stop there, es­pe­cially for the lo­cal crow pop­u­la­tion.

More than a half dozen straw-filled scare­crows dec­o­rate the street this year, in­clud­ing “Pur­ple Pete with no feet” from the Burke fam­ily, the “Scary Deli scare­crow” by Becky Betz and Randi Green, “The Bird­man of Al­ca­traz” by Ron Kaizar and “The God­dess of Chan­dler Hall,” whose re­al­is­tic face is enough to give any­one the wil­lies.

Mean­while, inside the lobby of The First Na­tional

Bank of New­town, a cup­cake war was un­der­way as dozens of dec­o­ra­tive Hal­loween cup­cakes, some with eye­balls, oth­ers with grave­stones and even a batch of owls, com­peted for prizes.

“It is ob­vi­ous peo­ple worked in­cred­i­bly hard on the dec­o­ra­tions,” said Linda Welles, one of last year’s con­tes­tants who re­turned this year to lead the Cup­cake War. “And then when we tasted them they were just as good on the inside as they were on the out­side.”

Welles and Felix Pa­padakis from Felix’s Cake­te­ria had the en­vi­able task of tasting each cup­cake and the more dif­fi­cult job of se­lect­ing the win­ners.

Olivia Mitchell won first place for best tasting. Her cup­cakes will be avail­able for pur­chase on Satur­day at Felix’s on Wash­ing­ton Av­enue. Win­ning for pre­sen­ta­tion were Jamie Tay­lor, Me­gan Petrie and Danielle, Bri­anna and Avery Nel­son.

It was all part of the Hal­loween Art Scene, an event de­signed to bring the spirit of Hal­loween to New­town.

“This is so much fun,” said Becky Betz, the owner of Becky’s Deli, as she took in the scene. “Ev­ery­where you look there are smiles,” she said. “And it’s great to see so many peo­ple walk­ing up and down the street look­ing at the win­dows and the scare­crows. It’s a great thing.”

And what was her fa­vorite part? “The scare­crows, be­cause they’re new,” said Betz. “And we had fun putting ours to­gether,” she said.

“I’m so happy it’s a nice day, too,” Betz added. “Ev­ery­one is out and about and peo­ple seem to be hav­ing such a great time. And I love those cup­cakes, too. Aren’t they cool?”

Com­mit­tee mem­ber Jackie Kaizar en­cour­ages any­one who hasn’t seen the win­dows and the scare­crows to stop in town and check out the fun. They’ll be on dis­play through Nov. 4.

Khara Levy and Gretchen Jonas paint a Hal­loween scene on the win­dow of GAP Body fea­tur­ing a witch, mummy, a skele­ton and the Bride of Franken­stein mod­el­ing cloth­ing from the store. FOR MORE PHO­TOS, VISIT BUCK­SLO­CAL­NEWS.COM

Sarah Kaizar of Rich­boro cre­ates a bone yard on the front win­dow at Al­legheny Art.

Kasey Tay­lor of New­town scares up a new logo for Star­bucks for the Hal­loween sea­son.

Sixth graders from the New­town Friends School painted this Peanuts Hal­loween scene on the front win­dow of the New­town Hard­ware House. They are Sofia Fras­cella, Jess Saft­las, Olivia Doody and Deanna DiFranco. FOR MORE PHO­TOS, VISIT BUCK­SLO­CAL­NEWS.COM

Is­abella Zuzulo and Al­li­son Sirota of New­town paint a be­witch­ing scene on the front win­dow of Belle Abelle.

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