Friday, October 1, 2010

Halloween in the Park, Part III

Happy October everyone! Since I'm a huge fan of Halloween, this is actually one of my favorite months of the year. Last October, I had what I still think is an excellent idea... Halloween in the Park! Think Christmas in the Park (which is Downtown's largest event btw) with a Halloween theme. This should be a collaborative effort to really come up with a compelling proposal, so please post your thoughts in the comments and perhaps we can turn this into a reality. Here is where we left off from last year:

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 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. 
Here are the ideas we have so far:
  • Animated Halloween Displays
    • Halloween Jack O pumkin lantern
    • Assembled by talented 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.
      • Food Booths with candied apples, chocolates, candy, pumpkin seeds, etc.
      • 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
      • 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. Perhaps a 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.
      • Potential Events
        • Zombie-O-Rama can be used to kick off Halloween in the Park (late Sep. / early Oct. timeframe)
        • Dia De Los Muertes Bike Party
        • Weekly horror movie screening (perhaps in the Circle of Palms area?)
        As before, please post your suggestions below!


        1. I hope Halloween in the Park becomes a reality soon! Schools/local organizations can even become involved in decorating Halloween trees (like they do for Christmas in the park) with lights and Halloween projects/decorations. The Great America Haunts have been such a success, and it would be exciting to have another local Halloween event to go to.

        2. I think this is a great idea, although I am against naming it "Halloween in the Park," for the sake of originality, and instead name it (depending on the day) something like "San Jose's Friday of Fright" or "Spooky Spectral Saturday in San Jose," among others.

          With all of the space in downtown perfect for such events, lots of appropriate lighting would be nice (like you mentioned), and maybe even have some individuals demonstrate creatively engineered light configurations, perhaps interactive (we are in Silicon Valley, after all).

          I would also like to emphasize your idea of using vacant space to put up Halloween Haunts and allow interested people to buy tickets for entry.

          Especially with the lack of large events between summer and Christmas, this would be a great idea to implement right in between.

        3. Make it happen!!!