Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wednesday Wishlist: Halloween in the Park! (Part V)

This is one of my favorite Wednesday Wishlists every year. To sum it up, think Christmas in the Park for Halloween! San Jose is gaining traction as a go-to place for Halloween events with events like the Winchester Mystery House Fright Nights and Deadtime Dreams. A Halloween in the Park month-long event would be inclusive to all ages and make Downtown San Jose the epicenter of October Halloween experiences.

Below is a working concept and there have been several additions and revisions over the last three years, so please have a look and provide your feedback and suggestions in the comments. Thanks!

The largest draw to downtown San Jose for many years now has been Christmas in the Park. It has continued to grow year after year and brings in visitors from all over the Bay. It's economic impact I'm sure is substantial and helps keep many downtown businesses afloat.

What would you think about a similar event for Halloween? Picture downtown lit up in orange add purple with elaborate Halloween displays assembled by talented local artists. Perhaps a infrastructure could even be shared with Christmas in the Park (e.g. retail booths). A strong event in October would help maintain traffic between the summer months and Christmas in the Park. 
Here are the ideas we have so far:
  • Animated Halloween Displays
    • Created by local artists
    • Analogous to the Christmas displays that attract many families during Christmas in the Park (almost half a million visitors)
    • Family friendly so that everyone can enjoy it (PG/PG13, perhaps around the same level as Great America Halloween Haunt)
    • Halloween Lighting
      • Orange, purple, and green LED lighting on trees
      • May be possible to use new controllable lighting that can go from Halloween colors to Christmas colors with the push of a button, allowing the lights to stay up for Christmas in the Park as well and reducing setup/takedown effort.
    • Halloween Food
      • Booths with candied apples, chocolates, candy, pumpkin seeds, etc.
      • Food trucks
    • Retail Booths selling Halloween items, for example:
      • Artwork (paintings, glass pumpkins, etc.)
      • Home decor/crafts like candles
      • Light-up hats/necklaces/bracelets
      • Costumes
      • Zombie/Halloween make-up station 
    • Halloween-themed Carnival Games
      • Pirates of Emerson does a good job at this.
    • Interactive Art
      • ZERO1-style, but with a Halloween spin.
    • Pumpkins
      • Instead of the sponsored Christmas trees in Christmas in the Park, how about decorated Pumpkins (can even be Styrofoam so there is no mess/decay)?
      • Pumpkin carving station for families. 
      • Pumpkin carving contest.
    • Costumed Entertainers
      • Walking around the area, not necessarily scaring people but adding to the ambiance and providing photo opportunities for families
    • Haunts
      • Would be ideal if these were nearby, perhaps in vacant retails spaces, surface parking lots, the convention center, or at SJSU.
      • Could partners with one of the established San Jose haunt providers such as Deadtime Dreams or The World's Largest Haunted House.
    • Potential Events
      • Zombie-O-Rama can be used to kick off Halloween in the Park (late Sep. / early Oct. timeframe)
      • Zombie Crawl
      • Dia De Los Muertes Bike Party
      • Horror Movie Trivia Contest
      • Weekly horror movie screening (perhaps in the Circle of Palms area?)
      As before, please post your suggestions below!


      1. Theres no news in all of San Jose?

        1. If you want daily news, go to the Mercury News or SJBJ. You're missing the point of this blog.

      2. What about Pumpkins in the Park?