INDIANAPOLIS — You may have heard of Christmas in July, but rarely does Halloween make an appearance. Just don’t tell that to the people of Irvington, as they are already decorating for the spooky holiday now.

“Halloween means everything to Irvington. People decorate for Christmas just as early sometimes,” says Jessalyn Larsen as she looks at a giant 12-foot mummy in her neighbor’s yard, “Whatever brings you joy these days is a good thing.”

Last year their annual Halloween Festival drew a record 70,000 thousand people. Submissions for the yearly poster contest were due on Friday, and voting is online next week.

“We basically start planning at the very beginning of probably around December,” says Lary Messing, one of the Halloween Festival organizers, “Even if it’s a different holiday, we are going to find a way to incorporate Halloween into it.”

Halloween has become the identity of Irvington. Neighbors are already raiding Home Goods stores for items, and planning out elaborate displays for bragging rights.

“If you ask everybody they will say it’s not too competitive, but it’s pretty competitive,” laughs Andrew Bledsoe, who keeps a giant skeleton named Jim in his front yard all year round, “We bought it for our wedding. We got married on Halloween in 2020.”

The Halloween Festival is still looking for sponsors for their premier event which is the street festival. This year also marks the return of the Halloween Ball. Tickets are on sale now.