‘Once Upon a Hallowe’en’ returns Sunday to Old Poway Park
By Emily Sorensen
If you’re looking for a fun, family-friendly Halloween event, then you’ve found it.
“Once Upon a Hallowe’en” returns for the fifth year 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28 in Old Poway Park, 14134 Midland Road, Poway. This spooky yet not too scary free event will feature everything from carnival games to a haunted house, with candy for the kids as well.
This year’s event is shaping up to be better than ever, thanks to a multitude of volunteers, according to event chair Lynn Wolsey. “We have so many volunteers this year, it’s amazing,” said Wolsey, who thought they had about 60 volunteers helping out to make “Once Upon a Hallowe’en” a success. Students from Poway High School, Mt. Carmel High School, Rancho Bernardo High School and Westview High School were all volunteering, as well as a number of Boy and Girl Scouts.
Last year’s event drew over 1,500 visitors to the park, and Wolsey is expecting even more this year.
This year’s haunted house has been moved to the Porter House, as Wolsey and the rest of the volunteers work to find the best possible place for it. Members of the Apache Canyon Gang will be transforming the Porter House into a spooky haunted house, filled with skits and fun. There will also be a special surprise outside that might just catch you off your guard.
Thriller dancers will be performing in the gazebo at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m., as well as giving thriller dance lessons, and noted storyteller Charles Johnson will be in Templar’s Hall all evening.
The train, of course, will be running during the event, and even the old steam engine will have a Halloween twist to it, thanks to a special way they’ll be lighting the firebox. “It kind of makes the train look like a dragon,” said Wolsey. From the train, you can watch another cool event, the metal detonations in the Blacksmith Shop. Demonstrators will be striking superheated pieces of metal with hammers, which makes firework-like sparks. “It’s just amazing, the sparks just fly,” said Wolsey, who noted that it was dangerous, so people are only allows to watch from the safe distance of the train.
Some older carnival games have been retired for this year’s event, but no fear, some new ones are being in to replace them and offer a new experience to past visitors. “Everyone who at least plays a carnival game will get a piece of candy,” said Wolsey. “It’s sort of a trick-or-treat experience.” There will also be duck racing in the fountain for children.
New this year is the Pumpkin Carving contest. While you can still try to pre-register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for $5, you can also register on-site between 5 and 5:15 p.m. for $10 per entry. First place will receive $100, second place wins $50, and third place wins $25. The judging is people’s choice.
If you get hungry, the Heritage Dancers will be selling tamales, popcorn, cookies and bottled water for a nominal fee to munch on as you wander the park.
For more information about “Once Upon a Hallowe’en,” call the Old Poway Park Office at 858-668-4576.
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