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E'town's Halloween queen: Jeanine Morrison's love of holiday evident in her store

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By Becca Owsley

Superheroes, princesses and monsters of all sorts will be out on the prowl for candy tonight but for one Elizabethtown woman this spooktacular holiday has been a part of business life for 14 years.

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Jeanine Morrison didn’t originally plan to be in the party or Halloween business.

Her father is from Muldraugh and after joining the U.S. Air Force, he met her mother in France, where Morrison was born.

The family moved around a lot and Morrison later joined the Air Force herself, serving four years in Arizona.

When she moved back to Elizabethtown, she worked at the county clerk’s office and started baking cakes. People seemed to like them so she went into the cake business.

“Now I don’t do cakes but do everything else,” she said.

In 1998, Morrison opened Party Plus, which has expanded and moved to three locations in Elizabethtown. 

Although she’s been in the business a long time, she feels like she’s still learning. Fads constantly are changing, which means party themes change, too. She has to stay on top of what’s popular.

She has a lot of fun purchasing ghoulish Halloween products for the store, a task that starts in January.

Halloween is a time when adults get to act like children again, she said, adding adults can live out childhood fantasies and scare people without being looked down upon.

“It’s the only holiday you are allowed to just have fun,” she said. 
 
The most popular costume this year: zombies.

For men and boys, superheroes and pirates still are popular. Women tend to like witches, Catwoman, Batgirl or Wonder Woman costumes and are less likely to lean toward a scary costume, Morrison said. Little girls like Monster High costumes.

But the classics still are popular. “The Wizard of Oz” costumes sell out each year, she said.

Party decorations vary. Customers tend to look for moving props, spider webs, funny decorations and zombie items, she said.

Sometimes she gets odd requests. A customer once asked for a machine that could levitate someone. Another time, someone asked for feces on a stick.

“We have odd conversations around here,” she said. “It’s a fun job.”

She’s really into Halloween now but it wasn’t as big a deal to her as a child. Morrison remembers wearing the old-school plastic masks, but her mother doesn’t like Halloween so there wasn’t much to the holiday in their house.

Today, she loves dressing up. She’ll often stay in costume when she picks up her son from school. He got over being embarrassed about it years ago, she said.

One year, she dressed as a hippie and had to go get a flu shot still in costume.

Her advice for picking the right costume first depends on where you are going for the night. If you’ll be trick-or-treating with children, she suggests not wearing a scary costume. If you’re headed to a party for grown-ups, she said, the sky is the limit and it’s OK to be scarier. It’s also important to be comfortable and have fun, she said.

“Have a night of being whoever you want to be,” she said.

Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

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