East Portland ‘Costume Carnival’ is all treats

See why this year’s East Portland Community Center Hallowe’en event provided delights without ruses …

Welcoming families, in costume and not, from all over outer East Portland to the “Costume Carnival” is the smiling and familiar face of retired Center Director, and now volunteer, Abbe Macfarlane.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Many of the Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) community centers offer some kind of fall festival, coinciding with Hallowe’en. On October 22, the volunteers and staff at the East Portland Community Center (EPCC) again put a lot of spirit into hosting their “Costume Carnival”.

Fun and games of all kinds were in every room at EPCC – except the pool. In the classrooms, kids could participate in age-appropriate crafts, have their face painted, or get a (non-permanent) tattoo.

Allison Le is colorfully face painted by Parkrose High School student volunteer Helen Vu.

The community center’s main gym is lined with games of skill and chance.

In the dining hall, families gathered to play bingo, and enjoy a supper, featuring Papa Murphy’s Pizza and cookies. And, the gymnasiums featured games of skill and chance.

“Welcome to our 19th annual Costume Carnival,” greeted new Center Director of three months, Neil Brown.

EPCC staff members Maggie Finley and Mandy Tran flank new Center Director Neil Brown at the front desk.

Portland State University student volunteer John Lee, and David Douglas High School student volunteer Abby Jacob, serve up pizza dinners.

“It’s all about It’s about having a nice, low-cost community event for the people who regularly come to our community center, as well as for those that don’t, so we can show people what we have to offer here,” Brown told East Portland News.

To help kids of all ages feel welcome, there were attractions for both tiny tots and grade school children, Brown pointed out. “For example, our main gym has all kinds of games, run by volunteers, primarily for the older kids. And, in our dance studio, we have games geared for preschoolers.”

Claire gets a little help from her mom, Kellie Noble, in making a Hallowe’en craft.

With a family changing room turned into a spooky attraction, this pop-up clown gives folks a scare when they walk through the “Haunted Hallway”.

Brown observed that – new this year – their “scariest attraction” is the “Haunted Hallway”; the one that leads to the Aquatic Center. “Even so, it’s not so scary,” he said.

“Takes a lot of volunteers to do this, and we’re very grateful for the 75 who are helping out at the carnival today, along with our staff members,” Brown commended.

“The best part of this, for me, is seeing everybody from our community come here, and having a fun, safe time,” Brown commented. “This is my first one, and I’m having a good time!”

Getting “warmed up” for Hallowe’en is Marjorie Carothers, with daughters Delilah and Maggie.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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