A family-friendly, fun-filled evening of games, haunted houses, costume contests and live music is planned for Halloween.
The 28th annual citywide Halloween Fun-Fest is scheduled for Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the former Allen Park Ice Rink in Jamestown.
According to Julia Ciesla-Hanley, recreation coordinator, the event was planned to offer a safe and fun alternative to door-to-door trick-or-treating.
Children gather at the Allen Park Ice Arena on Wednesday to preview the upcoming Halloween Fun-Fest. Pictured in back row from left are Julia Ciesla-Hanley, recreation coordinator; John Williams, parks manager; John Bauer, parks commissioner; Cindy DiNapoli, parks commissioner; and Mayor Sam Teresi. Pictured in front from left are the Swanson children, Gwen, Georgia, Jacob, Joshua and Jeremy.
P-J photo by Dusten Rader
"It's a great way to come in out of the cold, which it may be (this) week," said Ciesla-Hanley. "We wanted to provide a fun and safe place for children to spend Halloween."
The fun-fest will feature a haunted house for children 6 years or older. The decorations and haunted house were organized by parks manager John Williams.
"Having a haunted house at the fun-fest has been a feature for many years," said Ciesla-Hanley. "We have volunteers who dress up to scare kids as they go through. It's a fun feature we have for the kids who are a little more brave."
The event will also feature two judged Halloween costume contests; one at 6:45 p.m. and the other at 7:45 p.m. Prizes will be awarded to the participants in both contests. Two grand prize winners will receive bicycles donated by Jamestown Cycle Shop.
"Our costume judges this year are the Babes of Wrath roller derby girls," said Ciesla-Hanley. "They will be on their roller skates making rounds to see every child in costume. This is where they've had their roller derby bouts over the past year, so it ties in nicely."
The Jamestown Ironmen will also be attending the event, said Ciesla-Hanley.
"They are going to come and help out," said Ciesla-Hanley. "I think they may also be having a little floor hockey in the back of the arena. So, kids can come meet the hockey players that are playing at the other ice arena downtown."
Carnival-style games with prizes, donated refreshments and live music by Emerald City will also be featured.
In addition to sponsorship from the city of Jamestown, the festival also brought together more than 27 businesses and organizations in support of one event. The Jamestown High School Key Club and National Honor Society also helped to fill bags of candy.
"This is another example of one of these very small budget, but big impact, type of things that the city does every year," said Mayor Sam Teresi. "The value of it isn't just to bring the community together and to allow the kids and adults to have a great time celebrating Halloween, but there is a tremendous public safety value to this. Encouraging a safe environment for the kids to come to get their candy, have their fun and great entertainment also cuts down a lot of the potential dangers of Halloween that exist on the street with door-to-door trick-or-treating type of events. This is a wonderful collaborative event between the city and many businesses throughout the area to create a safe alternative, fun environment for young kids and adults to celebrate Halloween."
The event also utilizes the historic Allen Park Ice Arena, which is an important aspect of the program, said Teresi.
"It's a great use for this building that we're doing our best to try to maintain for public activities and future uses," continued Teresi. "So, we're glad that we can match up this great activity with this space."
The event is free and open to the public. But, the event is for children 12 years of age or under. Individuals over the age of 12 must be accompanied by a child, and children under the age of 6 must be accompanied by a parent or adult.
The Allen Park Ice Arena is located on the corner of Elizabeth and Allendale avenues. For more information call 483-7523.