Halloween-themed family events bring city together

Sunday Times Newspapers

MELVINDALE – This year’s Harvest Fest will be one to remember, organizers say.

After a successful turnout last year, the third annual Halloween-themed event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 17 at Allendale Elementary School, 3201 Oakwood Blvd.

“Last year was a blast, we probably had 200 to 300 kids,” said Yvonne Kollmorgen, administrative assistant to the mayor and council. “Each year, it just seems to grow and grow. Local businesses seem to be really supportive.”

Harvest Fest will bring the community together for hayrides, face painting, cider, doughnuts, a bonfire, pumpkin raffle, car costume contest, person-to-car trick or treating and more — all for free.

Anyone interested in participating in the trick or treating should register by contacting Michelle Alvarado at (313) 623-6464 or MrsAlvarado@wideopenwest.com.

A scarecrow contest will be held between the different classes at Allendale and Rogers Early Elementary School, with the winner earning a pizza party. Ronald McDonald also will be on site.

Kollmorgen said this year’s event has two new features.

“Last year there was just one tractor for the hayride. This year is a second tractor, because the line wrapped around the school,” Kollmorgen said, adding that Melvindale High School drama club members will be lurking behind the school to jump out and scare hayriders.

The other new feature is the only thing that costs money at Harvest Fest: a $2 concessions combo that includes a hot dog, chips and a pop.

“Everything’s free except hot dogs, pop and chips,” Kollmorgen said.

Another family-friendly event will follow a week later with the second annual Melvindale Fire Department Open House from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Fire Department, 3160 Oakwood Blvd.

This year’s theme will be Halloween safety and Ronald McDonald, face painting, a coloring contest, food and the Animal Magic clown show – which had a chinchilla and duck last year – all will be part of the festivities.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Kollmorgen said. “They promote and talk about Halloween.”

(Contact Chris Jackett at cjackett@bewickpublications.com)