The Coast News Group
Carlsbad residents, left to right, Amy Ward and Michelle Gelbert joined in to decorate and celebrate with Tina Lentz, the master planner of their Hanover Beach Colony neighborhood Halloween Home Decorating contest on Oct. 21, along with Michelle Dudl, who won first prize as “Best Witch” at the after-party. Photo by Jean Gillette
Columns Small Talk

Small Talk: Scaring up a good party

I’m a pushover. The e-mail said I’d be a “celebrity” judge. Who can resist that title?

I said, “Heck, yes,” tossed on my black hooded cape, and headed off to Carlsbad’s Hanover Beach Colony neighborhood Halloween Home Decorating contest.

I was greeted by the most enthusiastic resident and absolute party maven, Tina Lentz. Tina is something of a legend around there. She decided the neighborhood should add a Halloween competition and party to her reputedly over-the-top Fourth of July and Christmas events. This woman knows how to throw a party, with floating witch hats in the pool, a five-foot-tall candelabra, punch with eyeballs and every woman in the neighborhood decked out in a prize-worthy witch’s costume.

I really think anyone who puts in the time and effort to decorate, needs an appreciative audience to “oooh” and “aaaah.” I was delighted to be that audience. I am, however, a lame judge, wanting to give awards to every entry. A lot of people put a lot of work into more than a dozen impressively decorated homes, and we had a rough time narrowing down our choices to just three categories.

A very creepy clown house nailed the scariest. But there was one all done up in a slick pirate theme complete with music, and another with so many spiders, you could feel them crawling down your back.

Another had a fabulous, enormous spider draped over the garage and yet another had a skeleton surfer family having a day at the beach. Tina’s house had enormous jack-o-lanterns and a perfect “Hocus Pocus” style going on.

All I can say is, if you cruise off Ponto Road along Leeward and Whitewater Streets, you will be suitably dazzled. I am definitely doing a drive-by in December, as well.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer who hates to miss a good party. Contact her at [email protected]