As a 3-year-old, Kaden Eustache of North Babylon doesn’t get to make very many decisions about his life. But the Great Jack-o’-Lantern Sail at Belmont Lake State Park on Saturday was different.
“This year we let him choose the costume,” said Kervin Eustache, 31, Kaden’s father. And not just his own costume, his parents’ as well: all three were dressed as superheroes from the children’s TV show PJ Masks.
Kids were making the most of the big decisions at the Saturday afternoon event, now in its fifth year, such as whether to ogle ducks in the petting zoo, pose for photos with a Frankenstein on stilts, or walk through a not-so-scary haunted house, which Kaden did three times, his dad said.
The event, organized by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, was capped off by kayaks towing a fleet of carved, ship-borne, candlelit pumpkins across the 29-acre lake, which was splashed with reds and oranges and browns from surrounding foliage.
The flotilla was the main draw for Jessica Foti, 45, of West Babylon, but for her 2-year-old son, Frank, it was the chance to show off his SWAT team outfit.
“His uncle is a police officer,” Frank’s mom, a train conductor, explained, holding Frank’s juice box as he bought a lit-up sword from a toy vendor, apparently unconcerned with swords not being standard issue SWAT gear.
Rukshana Tobben was similarly nonchalant about adding a purple witch’s hat to her Little Red Riding Hood costume.
“She saw it in the store and she decided to improvise,” said Sheela Tobben of Plainview, the 10-year-old’s mom.
The Jack-o’-Lantern Sail was one of nearly half a dozen Halloween-themed events the fifth-grader had on her itinerary, said her mother, who did not join her daughter in dressing up Saturday.
“I tried that yesterday,” she said, for a party at Bethpage High School, where she was one of few parents wearing a costume.
“I think I’ll just tone it down,” Tobben said of her upcoming Halloween wardrobe plans.