SIOUX CITY -- The Betty Strong Encounter Center will host “One Smart Cookie: Trick-or-Treat Fun!” -- a sugar cookie-decorating family activity with Eileen McCormick, 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday in the Center’s activity room. Admission, materials and cookies will be free.

Participants may use a variety of materials to create personalized sugar cookies that celebrate Halloween, a holiday that can be traced to Irish immigrants.

On the eve of Oct. 31 in the old country, faces were carved into large turnips or potatoes, then lit with candles and placed in a window. Some accounts say these “jack-o’-lanterns” were meant to scare away ghosts.

When they arrived in the United States, the Irish began using pumpkins for their jack-o’-lanterns. Halloween observances evolved, and by the early 20th century, costumes and parties were part of the holiday celebration.

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