Hundreds find Hallowe’en fun at Community Center

Maybe it was just a warm-up for their October 31 adventures, but discover why this East Portland Community Center hosted a major event of the season …

When the doors open, families come in to the East Portland Community Center ready to participate in its 18th annual Costume Carnival.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

As has been the tradition for years, the East Portland Community (EPCC) Center Costume Carnival attracted families from all over outer East Portland for a pre-Hallowe’en party in the early evening of October 12.

The event, held the Saturday before Hallowe’en, offered an evening of carnival games, face painting, crafts, and food.

A row of volunteers seated at tables check-in guests, and provide tickets or wrist bands for families coming to enjoy the evening.

Dressed in his new “Thomas the Train” costume is Reed Butler, tossing “bones” with dad Josh Butler.

aylah Andrews, shows her “Wonder Woman” skills in hoop pitching.

A dozen games of skill, designed for all ages – including older kids – was set up in the EPCC gymnasium. Off to the side, in the “group exercise room”, only tiny tots were allowed in to play simplified games.

In the “classrooms” at EPCC were set up crafts-making stations, and tables to accommodate about eight face-painting artists.

Before hundreds of celebrants rush in to this year’s Costume Carnival, EPCC Director Abbe MacFarlane tells of the event.

Taking a brief break from directing some of the 80 volunteers to their areas, EPCC Director Abbe MacFarlane said a full house was expected.

“This is one of our most popular family events,” MacFarlane told East Portland News.

In the EPCC kitchen are Al Daniels and Mark Dalman, getting pizza dinners ready to serve.

Our favorite volunteer costume is “Kung Fu Wicked Witch” worn by Taekwondo student Hillary Williams.

“Our ‘Costume Carnival’ helps meet the mission of the Community Center because we are all about doing events that bring the community together,” MacFarlane said. “People come here to have a good time and socialize, and to get to know each other. We’re all about building community in all different ways.”

Abigail McFayden gets her face painted by volunteer Abby Key.

Although the event takes a great deal of preparation, MacFarlane said she enjoys it every year. “The best part for me is seeing all the interesting costumes, and watching all of the kids having so much fun.”

> On our front page: In his dapper-but-ghoulish getup, London Diamata tries his hand at one of the many games at the EPCC Costume Carnival.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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