Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween in the Park?

The largest draw to downtown San Jose for many years now has been Christmas in the Park. In 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 and purple with elaborate Halloween displays assembled by talented local artists. Perhaps a lot of the 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 Music in the Park months and Christmas in the Park. It would be nice to flesh out this idea and perhaps make a formal proposal in a year or two if there is interest.

Here are some ideas I'm tossing around for what I would want to see in a "Halloween in the Park" event:
  • Animated Halloween Displays (analogous to the Christmas displays that attract many families during Christmas in the Park)
  • Orange, purple, and green LED lighting on trees.  It is also possible to use new controllable lighting that can go from Halloween colors to Christmas colors with the push of a button... that way the lights could stay up for Christmas in the Park as well and would only have to be put up and taken down once)
  • Retail booths selling Halloween items 
  • Food booths with candied apples, chocolates, candy, etc.
  • Halloween-themed carnival games
  • Costumed entertainers walking around the area, not necessarily scaring people but adding to the ambiance and providing photo opportunities for families.
Any thoughts?


  1. That's an awesome idea! Everyone loves Christmas in the park. Halloween in the park would be great! If would be fun if they even had haunts to go to as well.

  2. This would be very cool. I would even prefer this to Christmas in the Park. I would love to help get this going. There are a lot of homes in the down town core area that also decorate, making this a great experience. I also like the idea of having haunts, private or public nearby.

  3. Haunts would be fantastic, the question is who would run them and where would they be located. I know that a few years ago Gyro's set up shop in the San Jose Convention Center. I think that was the only time there was a true haunt downtown (and since then it seems like they have settled into Raging Waters). How great would it be to turn some of the empty retail spaces downtown into Haunts for October?

  4. This is really a great idea! For some crazy reason I can't help but think it would be cool to incorporate something like the Zombie Crawl into this event...imagine an annual gathering of thousands of Zombies downtown!

  5. Sounds like a great idea! Halloween in the Park sounds like fun! And the zombie crawl combo is also interesting. What about something like Zombie Crawl Saturdays in October? Or incorporating San Jose Bike Party? They just did a great Day of the Dead-themed Ocoober ride.

  6. Speaking as the guy who came up with and sponsored Zombie-O-Rama, I volunteer to take point on making something like this happen.

  7. Dan, first off let me congratulate you on a phenomenal event!! I don't think anyone could have predicted the turnout for Zombie-O-Rama. I'll definitely be there next year camera in tow.

    Second, thanks for volunteering to take point on this. I will do whatever I can to help you out. Also, what better way to kick off an event like Halloween in the Park than Zombie-O-Rama 2010/2011?

    I think I'm going to organize these new ideas into a revised post later today.

  8. Okay, I've created a new post integrating in everyone's ideas!