Naperville Teen Honors Grandma Through Halloween Display

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“It was kind of just like a known thing in our family, like oh, everyone loves Halloween,” said Naperville teen, Sam Rovansek. “Sam loves Halloween, my aunt, my mom, my grandma, it’s pretty much a family thing.”

Halloween Family Tradition

Montini Catholic senior Sam Rovansek comes from a long line of Halloween fans. As a kid, his Grandma Mi Mi would take him around Naperville to all the Halloween stores. As part of their tradition, he would help her set up a modest display in her front yard.

“She probably had like 4 to 5 of like little cute Halloween things and then I just love the scary stuff, so I started putting out scary things and she really liked it as well,” said Rovansek.

Sam’s Impressive Display

Now, a couple years since his grandmother passed away, Rovansek decided to continue what they started, but on a larger scale, at his parent’s house. He’s set up a display complete with motion and time sensor animatronics, taking about a week to put it together.

“I try to do different themes, so it doesn’t all look kinda like all over the place,” said Rovansek. “I try to have things that look alike in this corner, or things that are like clowns, I kind of just like to spread it out and make it look pretty good.” 

His grandma’s preferences were fresh in his mind as he selected the pieces to place.

“I really try to like pick and find the best things that I think family and my grandma would think ‘that’s pretty cool’ and I think I did a good job this year,” said Rovansek.

Halloween Light Tour

Besides honoring his grandmother, Rovansek had another goal: to land a spot in the Naperville Trolley Halloween Light tour. That idea had taken root after he was a passenger during the first year of the special holiday tour.

“It’s been my goal, ever since that first day, I remember I told my dad, ‘we need to do this’ (be included in the Halloween Light Tour) and he shook his head, like ‘yeah sure, there’s no way,’” said Rovansek. “I remember I told him ‘Hey, this is happening’ and he was like ‘wow, I remember when you told me this.’”

Having Rovansek’s house on the route is a special treat for Naperville Trolley & Tours owner Annette Wehrli, who started the tours about seven years ago.

“It touches my heart he spent every Halloween with his grandmother, picking out an item every year,” said Wehrli. “It pulled my heartstrings because it’s a family thing to do, to make it a tradition and our tours are a family thing.”

Rovansek now enjoys multiple trolleys filled with families and excited kids that ride by his house. A dream fulfilled, that he knows would make his grandma proud.

For Naperville News 17, I’m Joe Kennedy

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