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Saturday, May 08, 2021
<p dir="ltr">Aulani Newton, 3, a first-timer at Chomp or Treat, looks at her reflection in the mirror after having her face painted as a purple butterfly by one of the Easyjourney Entertainment employees inside the Evans Champions Club at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Monday night for Halloween.</p>

Aulani Newton, 3, a first-timer at Chomp or Treat, looks at her reflection in the mirror after having her face painted as a purple butterfly by one of the Easyjourney Entertainment employees inside the Evans Champions Club at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Monday night for Halloween.

Hyped up on sugar and Halloween spirit, Gainesville celebrated a night of spooky fun with an array of activities throughout the day.

On UF’s campus, some students attended classes in costume.

Elizabeth Edgerton went to her nutrition class dressed in a homemade pepper costume. The 20-year-old wore all black and taped a white “P” on her stomach.

“I couldn’t find a salt,” the UF health science sophomore said.

She said her nutrition class of about 200 was offered five extra-credit points for dressing up as foods, condiments included.

“Tonight I’m going to The Social at Midtown, probably in a different costume though,” Edgerton said. “I honestly woke up and forgot what day it was, but it can still be fun.”

Across town, at A Simply Unforgettable Party Shop, owner Michael Brooks said his store was busier than ever.

“We’re wall-to-wall with customers right now,” he said.

Brooks said this year the most popular costumes have been Harley Quinn and the Joker, characters from the movie “Suicide Squad.”

“Beside that, anything devil horns or angel wings,” he said.

Monday night, about 500 people flooded the Evans Champions Club at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium for the third-annual Chomp or Treat, hosted by the University Athletic Association.

Kids — some dressed as bumblebees, soldiers and dinosaurs — ate free pizza and Gator-orange cotton candy as they played carnival games.

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James Slagle, the UAA director of marketing, was dressed as batman. He said this is the first year the Halloween event had pre-registration; the last free ticket was reserved two weeks ago.

“It’s grown every year,” Slagle said. “It’s just a fun way for us to give back to the Gator Nation and the community.”

Parents chased sugar-high kids around as the winners from the night’s costume contest were announced. Of the 150 contestants, there were four winners.

Annistyn Smith, 5, was dressed as Nutella in a red shirt bearing the hazelnut spread’s logo and a brown tutu. After winning the “funniest costume” category, Smith said she dressed as Nutella because she loves to eat it.

“This is the best Halloween ever,” she said.

Her mom, Rita Cook, said she found out about the event on Facebook and decided to bring her kids.

“The environment is just so much fun,” Cook said. “Just the whole environment — the games, the people, the security — it’s just the perfect thing to bring your kids to. We will definitely be coming back next year.”

Aulani Newton, 3, a first-timer at Chomp or Treat, looks at her reflection in the mirror after having her face painted as a purple butterfly by one of the Easyjourney Entertainment employees inside the Evans Champions Club at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Monday night for Halloween.

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