Pat Rifat has been trying to raise the profile of Halloween in Echuca since moving from the US.By Trent Horneman
When Pat Rifat moved from California to Echuca she was sad to see Australians did not embrace Halloween.
Since moving, she has been trying her best to educate locals to her favourite American holiday.
‘‘In America, Halloween is celebrated probably more than Christmas,’’ she said.
Tonight Mrs Rifat will host a group of friends for a Halloween party, while tomorrow night she will welcome trick or treaters from around the neighbourhood with bags of lollies.
It is hard to miss Mrs Rifat’s Fehring Lane property, as it is decked out in Halloween decorations from the letterbox through to the backyard.
‘‘It is hard to find a lot of Halloween decorations in Australia, so I have ordered a bit online from America,’’ she said.
Mrs Rifat is prepared for a barrage of children on her doorstep tomorrow night.
‘‘Last year we had about 200 children. I almost ran out of candy. I have made up bags for children and I have back-up supplies so I don’t run out again,’’ she said.
Mr Rifat said Halloween reminded her of her childhood.
‘‘We would go out and get enough candy to last us for a year,’’ she said.
‘‘I love to see children come to the door all dressed up. It is interesting to see their imagination at work and see what they come dressed as.’’
Mrs Rifat said she believed many Australians were confused about Halloween.
‘‘A lot of people think it is scary, but is is not. My husband and I have been to parties dressed as salt and pepper shakers or Disney characters, nice things,’’ she said.
This year, she will be dressed as Marie Antoinette.
Tomorrow’s celebration is the culmination of a couple of months of preparation.
‘‘I have been planning this since August. From food through to decorations,’’ she said.
‘‘I get so excited, I just love it.’’
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