Vicksburg man shares Halloween decorations with community

Published 8:03 pm Saturday, October 27, 2018

When Laron Evans’ mom came home last year with Halloween decorations, it just wasn’t enough for this “kid at heart.”

“She had gone to the local Dollar Tree and bought three little ghosts to put in the yard and I said, ‘Mom, is that all you are going to get?’, and, she said, ‘yea.’”

So Evans decided to take decorating matters into his own hands and now for the second year in a row, every inch of the family’s front yard is a virtual Halloween bonanza.

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From life size werewolves and witches to a profusion of ghouls and goblins, the Washington Street home offers thrills and chills for all ages.

Evans said he began his search for Halloween yard décor at the local Home Depot.

“I went in there and saw how they had everything set up, and, I said, ‘wow.’ I was just amazed. So I started buying and it grew from there,” he said.

This year, Evans even traveled out of state in search of Halloween decorations to add to his already massive collection.

“I shopped in Alabama, but you know, I try to find everything around here from surrounding stores,” he said.

Halloween has always been a holiday he enjoyed celebrating.

“Coming up as a kid it was always a favorite,” Evans said.

Evans even recalled his most memorable Halloween.

“I will never forget. I had to have been about 13 years old. We went trick-or-treating, and we went to this one house where it looked like a guy was lying on the porch,” Evans said.

“It appeared to be like a stuffed dummy or something,” he said. “Just lying there with a mask. I was kind of cautious of it because it just didn’t look right.”

Nevertheless, he continued on after the homeowners encouraged him to come on up to the door.

“They were saying, ‘it’s ok, it’s ok come get the candy.’”

“And as soon as I stepped to the door for the candy he (the dummy) just jumped up. It scared me so bad, I started crying,” Evans said. “It was nice and sad at the same time, so I will never forget that.”

Doing it for the kids

Evans claims his Halloween decorations may be a little frightening, but nothing like what he experienced as a child.

“We don’t have anything that is too scary. I have thought it might be cool being a little more scary,” but for now he is content with his décor.

Evans said he had no idea that after he put out all his Halloween decorations last year that they would garner so much attention.   

“We didn’t know that once I started putting it up that it was going to draw this much attention,” he said.

However, now that folks know how bewitching the yard is, there is a steady stream of on-lookers daily.

Evans said he has no clue as to how many people drive by to view his yard, which he says he “lets it up early in the morning and lets it down at 9 p.m.,” but as long as the inflatables and lights are on, passersby’s get a treat.

Some of the comments Evans said he receives about his yard décor are “We have never seen anything like this in Vicksburg,” “This is awesome, you have done a great job” and “This is one of a kind.”

Very costly

Evans said it takes him about two days to assemble and two days to take down, and the cost of all the decorations has been in access of $7,000.

Evans’ Halloween décor is not his only extravagant expense.

Last year, to make sure he didn’t run out of snacks for trick-or-treaters, he spent quite a bit on candy.

“Lord have mercy, last year, I bought a $1,000 worth of candy, because we knew pretty much that we were going to have pretty much the whole city of Vicksburg come,” Evans said. “So we didn’t want to be shorthanded on candy.

“It cut it pretty close,” Evans said, of the candy he had purchased, “But we made it.”

Evans said he has enjoyed offering something fun for the community.

“I’m just a big kid at heart, and seeing that we can do this for the community and watch people bring their kids by … It has just been an aspiring and amazing thing,” Evans said.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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