The display pumpkins are gone and costumes are closeted. 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne) Soldiers and Families are now getting ready for Thanksgiving and the rush of the year-end holidays. But not too long ago, these same folks celebrated another kind of weekend on Oct. 26, as hordes of natural and unnatural creatures descended onto the 97th Civil Affairs Battalion (A) complex on Fort Bragg’s South Post area for the brigade’s third annual Trunk or Treat.

More than 400 Soldiers, Family Members and even pets were dressed for the occasion that began at dusk, a harbinger of following week’s Halloween celebration. The calm, pre-Hurricane Sandy weather helped pack the battalion environs with ghosts, princesses, super heroes and other dream-time creatures. As the skies turned dark, music enlivened the zombie wanna-bees who erupted into cheers, when the “Gangnam Style” deejay took to the pavement, to the song that has recently gone viral.

The Gangnam Style guy, aka Staff Sgt. Matthew Garner, displayed his dance moves, including horse-riding gestures like the Korean rapper who’s become a minor rage around the world.

As 95th CA Brigade volunteers served grilled hotdogs and hamburgers, drinks, popcorn, and cotton candy, Sgt 1st Class Stacey Love from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 95th CA Brigade, remarked the event has expanded over the years. “We get so much assistance from all around the Civil Affairs community, from food donations to volunteers. Everyone knows what a good time it’s become for all, and it’s become one of the biggest Halloween parties in Fort Bragg.”

The event was spearheaded this year by the 97th CA Battalion, with the brigade headquarters and all five battalions pitching in with kids’ games and a funhouse, a haunted house, a mad scientist show, Red Riding Hood’s grandma’s house, and a hay ride, as well as trunks of cars and trucks heaped with treats and tricks for all.

Popular costumes ranged from princesses to race car drivers to quite a few Woodys from the movie, Toy Story. Five-year old Aaron, dressed in Army fatigues, excited by the applause and compliments he received, said he chose his costume “because my daddy is a Soldier.”

“Ever since I came back, he’s wanted to be one,” said his father, a staff sergeant who recently returned from deployment.

“We had a great turnout for the event,” said 97th CA Battalion’s Chief Warrant Officer John Shrewsbury, who served as the event manager. “It was fun watching the children participate in the events.”

Shrewsbury, the 97th CA Battalion’s maintenance officer, added, “Thanks to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10630 of Hope Mills and the families and friends of the brigade, we had a very successful event.”