Haunted houses and spooky hay rides are a great way for older kids and teenagers to enjoy the Halloween season. However, for those too little or too scared to attend events like these, a Halloween Boo Fest was put on to provide them with the chance to enjoy the October holiday.
The Portage 16 IMAX put on its first ever Halloween event, Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest, directed at entertaining smaller children. The event was hosted by the IMAX and Lakeshore Public Television. While it was originally Lakeshore Public Television that came to the IMAX about creating the event, it was held in the parking lot of the theater.
The Boo Fest was to promote the PBS show Curious George, and Lakeshore received a grant from PBS to put the event on. According to Kevin Morgan, IMAX Manager, it was Lakeshore Public Television that first came up with the idea.
“Lakeshore Public Television contacted us about having good regional location and they had us in mind, so they invited us to be a part of it and we provided them the space,” Morgan said
At the event, kids showed up in costumes to participate in several Halloween themed activities. There were booths for the kids to do art projects, such as creating bracelets, making “goo,” which was composed of corn starch and water, and coloring printed out pictures.
Also for the kids’ enjoyment was a stack of pumpkins for the kids to stand next to and measure their height. Next to that activity, kids could watch as carved pumpkins exploded with a fun science trick displaying what happens when vinegar is mixed with baking soda.
As the kids made their rounds through the event, they could stop and pick up a pet rock. The rocks had “googly eyes” glued on and were laid out on a table. Once they chose their favorite, they got to name three things they liked about their new pet.
On the other side of the parking lot, booths were set up for the kids to trick-or-treat at. North Shore Health Center, Portage Public Library, NIPSCO and Firehouse Subs were just some of the participants.
There was a photo booth for kids to take pictures in and show off their costumes. After the picture, the photos were printed out immediately for the families to take with them.
One of the more popular attractions of the night was the “meet and greet” tent where children could visit Curious George and Daniel Tiger from PBS. Pictures were professionally taken at no charge and printed for the families.
Also wandering around the parking lot was two other mascots- Holey Moley from Indiana 811 and a cow.
The event was a great success, especially for being the first year it has taken place.
“I’m helping out my friend’s mom with this station, and it’s really fun,” volunteer Valerie Valerio said. “I wasn’t expecting it to be this much fun. I don’t know what I was expecting, I thought it would be a few kids here and there, but I wasn’t expecting this much.”
Due to the success of the event and the fun it provided for the children, Morgan hopes to host a similar event again in the future. Valerio agrees, saying that she would like to volunteer next year.