Over 200 residents participated in Halloween fun during the Chestermere Regional Community Association (CRCA) annual Howl-o-ween bash on Oct. 25.
“It went really well. We had over 200 people, it was enough to make it a good party,” said Recreation Program Coordinator Vicki Klinger.
She added, “I was really pleased with the turnout.”
Throughout the evening, youth and their families played carnival-style games such as penny pitches and bowling, danced to the Monster Mash, and walked through the haunted house.
“Our dance and the haunted house are something that’s a little bit different. It gives people a different choice,” Klinger said.
Klinger worked 10-hour days for a week to ensure the haunted house was as scary as it could possibly be.
“The haunted house took me about a week to put that thing together, I was spending 10 hours a day in that thing,” Klinger said.
Despite the long days it took to put everything together for the Howl-o-ween bash, seeing all of the families come out together, dance together, and spend time together as a family made the hard work worth it.
“I really liked that. I used to do the party where the parents would drop off the kids, but then I geared it more towards families. People appreciate that,” Klinger said.
Without the support of volunteers, the Howl-o-ween bash wouldn’t be possible.
“Thank you to the volunteers,” Klinger added. “If you don’t have volunteers to help with events like this, they don’t come off. It’s not my event; it’s for the community.”
This year, 15 volunteers from the Chestermere High School and Community Service workers donated their time to hosting games and scaring anyone who was brave enough to walk through the haunted house.
However, an event like the Howl-o-ween bash needs around 24 volunteers to ensure everyone gets appropriate breaks and can support each other.
“Everybody that was at an activity station couldn’t take breaks, because there was no backup,” Klinger said.
“It’s a long shift, and if you’ve got the extra volunteers, there can be two to a station, and they can come and go a bit and have more freedom,” she said.
Adding “Stepping Stones to Mental Health was wonderful. They did the craft table. When you have partners in the community who come forward, it adds to an event. It’s a win-win.”