MUSKOGEE, Okla. — After a two-year break, a Muskogee couple is ready to bring back the spooky spirit by decorating for Halloween in their biggest display yet.
Thomas Banneck says they still do the grand display year after year to make Halloween a unique experience for kids and families. Coming up with the decorations is both for their neighborhood but also people across Green Country who come just to see at night.
"Everyone goes out for Christmas. Anyone can go over-the-top for that," says Banneck. "We do Halloween because no one else does anything like it."
This year's theme is Undead Circus. Decorations include a lion tamer, a strongman and bearded lady, three acrobatic horse riders, a small animal trainer, and even a human cannonball. That just scratches the surface of what this display has to offer.
"When we did Undead Circus a couple of years ago, it was on a much smaller scale," Banneck explains. "But next thing I know, I'm adding more and more so this is what it's become."
However, this grand display almost wasn't meant to be this year. Banneck had a bone spur that impacted his Achilles tendon which ultimately led to surgery.
Due to not being able to walk, Banneck almost decided to not put up any decorations this year. He was close to putting out a sign to explain the situation but ultimately decided against it.
"I always joke every year that next year is the last year I'll do it," he laughs. "But I really did think this year wasn't going to happen."
With taking the time to set up everything over two weeks, Banneck was able to decorate everything in its spooky, wild fashion in enough time for Halloween.
He says a large motivation behind doing this year despite having surgery was wanting to go back to holiday traditions like before.
"We didn't get to do this last year. I think everyone is wanting to go back to normal at this point," says Banneck.
Banneck says the display is for everyone - the adults, the kids, or even just the people who come by to take pictures. All he asks is just people be respectful of not only the decorations but also other people in the neighborhood if you happen to come out.
"We're ready to welcome everyone back this year," Banneck says. "Whether you're in a costume or just a kid coming by with a Walmart bag, we hope you come out."
The Undead Circus is located at 201 Elton Drive in Muskogee and will stay up through Halloween.
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