Vidant Health team members and other community organizations came together to give patients at the James & Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital a Halloween experience to remember.

More than 20 cars drove by the Maynard Children’s Hospital with decorations on their cars and decked out in Halloween costumes. From the Mystery Machine to Star Wars and unicorns to super-dogs, everyone came out to put a smile on the face of Vidant’s smallest patients.

Alix Larrazabal is a Child Life student at the children’s hospital and helped organize the parade. She said the event was a success and seeing the reactions from the children was a highlight.

“It was honestly the most fun thing to see this come to life from the very beginning, months ago when we first started talking about it to seeing it now, how it turned out and how excited the kids were, it was amazing,” Larrazabal said. “I’m really happy with how it turned out.”

The ground outside the front entrance to the children’s hospital was decorated with Halloween-themed chalk as some East Carolina University students and children’s hospital patients brought out the spirit of the season. Many children showed off their Halloween costumes during the parade as well.

In years past, team members would dress up in their costumes and visit patients but COVID-19 brought about changes to the event. Last year was the first year of the parade-style Halloween celebration and it was a hit. Larrazabal said it’s important for the patients to have a safe and memorable holiday.

“This allows all the kids to safely come outside despite why they’re here at the hospital,” Larrazabal said. “It gives them a normal Halloween when they might not have gotten that inside the hospital.”

Larrazabal said the patients in the Maynard Children’s Hospital received a goodie bag with toys and art supplies as part of the event, whether or not they could make it outside to the parade.