HAPPY HALLOWEEN: Tammy Banister and Lexia O'Sullivan in 2015.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN: Tammy Banister and Lexia O'Sullivan in 2015. Anastassia Perets

Calling all monsters and ghouls, Halloween fun back in Monto

HALLOWEEN hasn't traditionally been celebrated in Australia.

But for most of this decade, it's been a major event on the kids of Monto's calendar, thanks to one passionate grandma.

Tammy Banister first organised the town's Halloween celebrations about eight years ago, bringing it back after a hiatus when her grand-daughter Lexia, 6, was born.

"I like the idea of getting kids out and about, away from their TV screen doing something else," Ms Banister said.

She said she organised the event for the town, herself and for the next generation.

"I want Monto to do well," she said.

"This is something for kids to look forward to each year.

"My pleasure is seeing kids have such a fun time."

Ms Banister said the kids were always well behaved, they "don't just treat it as a lolly grab".

The event's popularity has snowballed over the years: what started with fewer than 20 kids, Ms Banister said, has grown to more than 60 participants last year.

"It's very successful, there's more kids each year," she said.

Participating houses fluctuate: in 2017, there were 22 houses with a candle, balloon or other Halloween items placed outside to show they were involved, while last year there were only 11.

There are currently nine houses registered with Ms Banister.

Ms Banister said it was also open to businesses to participate: in previous years, IGA among others have supported the event.

One local who is on board is Monto's circus maestro Tyrone O'Reilly, who has confirmed he will be running his infamous Graveyard Run again this year to scare the daylights out of the kids.

Ms Banister has a Facebook group, Monto Halloween Trick or Treat for Kids, where you can register your participating children or share your address to join the trick-or-treat trail.

Trick or treating will run from 5-8pm on Thursday, October 31.

Not too late, Ms Banister said - "it is a school night, after all".


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