The Summerland Parks and Recreation Department has been sponsoring and organizing a community Halloween party for more than 27 years.
In the Fall 1985 program guide a pool party was organized for Oct. 31 and children and families were invited to participate in water games.
The Halloween party moved from the pool to the Summerland Youth Centre on Giant’s Head Road in the early 1990s.
I remember the stage area was transformed into a haunted house and the closets and storage areas under the stage were great for scaring kids as they travelled through the haunted house.
In the mid 1990s the Halloween party moved into the retail area of the new Dollar Store, previously the Fields store at the Summerfair Mall.
The Recreation Department had to move to the mall location because the Youth Centre was taken down and rebuilt on the present Peach Orchard Road location.
In the later 1990s the party moved back to the Aquatic and Fitness Centre and remains to be a huge success.
On Oct. 27, we will host 300 kids and more than 50 volunteers.
Many children look forward to this night of games on the pool deck, games in the water and of course the outdoor haunted tunnel.
I have heard many young and old adults talk about trying not to be scared and if they could make it through the tunnel without screaming.
Often children come back as teens to volunteer in the tunnel and try to make the younger children scream as they had when they were younger.
You might ask who thinks up these games and frightening activities?
Well, our lifeguards are the most creative thinkers, with Ed Casavant and Shawn Landriault leading the organizing and fundraising.
The community has always been very generous with donating goodies and funds for the children at the Halloween Haunt.
Prizes and candies are given out at all the game tables.
Tickets are now on sale for the 2012 Halloween Haunt, Oct. 27 at the Aquatic Centre.
This event sells out each year so I encourage you to buy your tickets early and don’t be disappointed.
Brenda Ingram is the Programs and Facilities Manager for the District of Summerland and proud to be a long-time resident of this great community.