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Ghoulish Good Times at Trick-or-Treat Under the Sea

Masonboro Urgent Care won 1st Place on Wednesday Night.

Kure Beach, NC— Halloween arrived early at the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Thousands of costumed children and adults haunted the halls and received treats of all kinds at the 11th annual “Trick or Treat Under the Sea,” Wednesday and Thursday evenings, Oct. 24 and 25.
Aquarium staff and local merchants teamed-up to create a spooky good time for visitors. Creepy creatures, like jack-o-lanterns and frolicking skeletons, shared space with diamondback terrapins and octopus. The sharks and rays swimming in Cape Fear Shoals kept their distance from a menacing clown, a stealthy sea monster and a hag-nosed witch diving in the largest exhibit. American alligators even bobbed for red apples. Visitors formed long lines to enter a haunted garden trail. Cloaked ghouls dotted the boardwalk trail inviting loud and frequent screams from young and old. No Sleeves Magic entertained crowds with jokes and illusions during nightly, Western-themed magic shows. “Trick or Treat Under the Sea continues to be a favorite seasonal event for the community and with staff,” said Aquarium Director Peggy Sloan. “So many people tell us this is part of their family Halloween tradition. All the smiling faces let us know we are doing it right.”  Local merchants added to the fun by dressing in their own costumes. Their decorated booths served as treat stations for children and adults. Candy, coupons, comic books, and even hair products were given freely. Judges awarded prizes to the merchant “BOOth” crews with the most imaginative costumes and eco-friendly booth décor. On Wednesday night, the first-place prize went to Masonboro Urgent Care for their Keep the Ocean Clean Fish Tank theme. Second place honors were awarded to Dr. Gregory Garrett’s crew and third place to Childcare Network. The mermaids of I Am Salon and Day Spa swam away with Thursday’s top prize. Second place honors went to Shaver Chiropractic and Alliance Credit Union received third. “It’s always a fun surprise to see what the merchants dream up and the community always responds so positively to their efforts,” said Sloan.
This year’s festivals drew 47 merchants, whose booth fees helped sponsor the event, including:  Alliance Credit Union, Ashley High School ROTC, Bald Head Island Conservancy, Battleship NC, Bellamy Mansion Museum, Cape Fear Academy, Cape Fear Museum, Cape Fear Soccer Club, Cardinal Lanes, Chick-fil-A, Childcare Network, Chili’s , Chuck E. Cheese, Clothes Mentor, Coastal Martial Arts Academy, Cumulus Broadcasting , Dr. Gregory B. Garrett, DDS PA, Edward Jones Investments, Fanboy Comics, Great Clips, Golds Gym, Happy Customer Biz Inc., Hoggard High School ROTC, I Am Salon and Day Spa, Island Gazette, Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park, Lindley Habilitation, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Masonboro Urgent Care, McAnderson’s (McDonald’s), Medieval Times, North Carolina Symphony, Olive Garden, Once Upon a Child, Papa Murphy’s, Plato’s Closet, Ribbet Salon, Shaver Chiropractic & Natural Medicine, Sunrise Broadcasting, Sylvan Learning Centerm, Dr. Skip Tyson DDS and Dr. Stephanie Heaney DDS, Thirty One, Wilmington Ice House, Wilmington Symphony Orchestra, Wilmington Water Tours and Wilmington YMCA.
The N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher is located 15 miles from Wilmington, just south of Kure Beach, near the mouth of the Cape Fear River, on US 421. The site is less than a mile from the Fort Fisher ferry terminal. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day). Admission: $8 adults ages 13-62; $7 seniors; $6 ages 3-12. Free admission for: children under 2; registered groups of N.C. school children, and NC Aquarium Society members. General information: