Glendale adds new attraction to Halloween event

By: 
CARY HINES, Assistant editor

Photos courtesy city of Glendale
A pirate paints a car at last year’s annual Neighborhood Halloween Event at Foothills Recreation & Aquatics Center. This year’s event is set for 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 26 at 5600 W. Union Hills Drive.

A little princess poses in her carriage at last year’s annual Neighborhood Halloween Event at Foothills Recreation & Aquatics Center. This year’s event is set for 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 26.

Glendale has added something new to its annual Halloween event this year that will be a surprise to everyone — even the organizers.

The ninth annual Neighborhood Halloween Event, planned for 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 26 at Foothills Recreation & Aquatics Center, will have a petting zoo, but which animals will be in attendance is anyone’s guess.

“To be honest, I have no idea,” Glendale Recreation Coordinator Darren Skousen said while laughing. “They give you the opportunity to pick animals, but I just said they can select them for us.”

Arizona Inflatables will provide the animals, as well as the ever-popular inflatables.

“Kids always like inflatable slides and jump houses and things like that,” Skousen said.

He said this year’s event will feature five inflatables, which include two obstacle courses, a slide, a bounce house and a football toss.

The event will also feature carnival games, arts and crafts, face painting, balloon animals, lots of candy and even a cupcake walk.

“It’s like an old style cake walk, instead of giving away a cake each time, we’ll just do cupcakes,” Skousen said. “I’m assuming we’ll do about 50 rounds.”

Children are encouraged to dress up and strut their stuff during the costume walk.

“It’s just a walk to show off your costume,” Skousen said. “It’s pretty fun to see the kids go across the stage.”

The event is geared toward children 10 and younger, but everyone’s invited, Skousen said.

“We don’t turn anybody away, but the games and activities are kind of geared for 10 and under,” he said.

Admission to the event is $4 per child; the petting zoo costs an additional $1.

Skousen estimates around 400 children will attend this year’s event.

“Last year, we had around 350 kiddos,” he said. “We had, I think, a total of about 800 people in the building when you include the parents and grandparents.”

He said parents like the event because it’s a safe place for their children to celebrate Halloween.

“We have tons of staff and volunteers that are here for the night,” he said. “It’s a safe alternative to being out trick-or-treating.”

He said the event has always been held the Friday before Halloween so as not to compete with all the other events taking place the Saturday before the holiday.

“The thought process behind it was with all the other organizations, the local churches and things like that, they normally do theirs on Saturdays, so Friday seemed like the smart day to put it on,” he said.

Skousen said he enjoys the event as he’s a huge Halloween fan.

“I just like Halloween in general,” he said. “I think it’s a really fun holiday. Our staff dresses up. It’s really cool to see the kids smiling and the families coming together for a cool event.”

Skousen doesn’t normally get a chance to dress up for the event because it’s such a long day with setting up and decorating; however, that might change this year.

“I really like to get dressed up, but I don’t normally dress up for the event,” he said. “I’m here for like 20 hours that day, but maybe this year, I’ll change before the event gets started.”

Who knows? Maybe the petting zoo won’t be the only surprise at this year’s Neighborhood Halloween Event.

Foothills Recreation & Aquatics Center is at 5600 W. Union Hills Drive. Tickets will be sold at the door.

The Glendale Star

The Glendale Star
7122 N. 59th Ave.
Glendale, AZ 85301-2436
Ph: (623) 842-6000
Fax: (623) 842-6013
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Peoria Times

Peoria Times
7122 N. 59th Ave
Glendale, AZ 85301-2436
Ph: (623) 842-6000
Fax: (623) 842-6013

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