Two great events will combine October 30, in downtown Banning, to offer free family Halloween fun, at the Banning Chamber of Commerce's annual "Fright Night" and the Banning Cultural Alliance's "Art of a Good Scare." This year the two events will combine between Ramsey and Hays Streets, on San Gorgonio Avenue, from at 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The Chambers regular vendors and some new ones will be on hand to provide information, games, crafts and of course plenty of candy for Trick or Treaters. Haunting music is expected to fill the air, with a special appearance by Judah Fernandez-Ruiz, as Michael Jackson. His show will begin at 6:15, with a second show at 7:30. Ruiz recently performed at Jerome Robinson's concert, this past summer, at the concerts in the park and was one of the winners in the Pass Has Talent competitons in 2009.
Additional performances by Alliance Top Ten members will include a dancing ghoul parade that those in attendance are invited to participate in.
Besides the entertainment, the Alliance Youth Arts Council will host a Haunted House, thanks to the use of 89 San Gorgonio Avenue and it's owners Mr. and Mrs. Ben Stephenson.
The Alliance has had the great fortune to utilize the Stephenson building for numerous events including art exhibits and a Nativity scene at last year's annual Phineas Festival.
"I am so grateful to the Stephensons," said Cindy Watson, youth program director for the Alliance.
Watson is also glad that the Banning Police Activities League (BPAL) Soccer is again joining in the haunting fun and will take over the Ghoul Graveyard, in the dirt area next to the Haunted House.
"These guys were a great asset to our Haunted House last year," said Watson, about the soccer team. "I am so glad that they will be joining us again this year," she continued.
Other fun includes the Banning Police Department command post that will be on hand for youth to explore.
There will be a costume contest, a jacko'- lantern contest, mask making, a clown and a raffle is also in the works.
The costume contest will be for the cutest, scariest and most original costumes in age groups 0- 4, 5-10,11-14, and 15-19. Bring your jack-o'-lantern to the event and enter the competition to win. Jack-o'-lanterns may be carved, painted or creatively decorated to win prizes and should be from families and are not judged by age categories. Entries may be any size or shape.
Tickets for the raffle will be sold for a personal DVD player at $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00.
"This night is meant for fun," exclaimed Watson!
"This is a night where vendors promote themselves and business but do not offer items for sale," according to Chamber officials, who add that they are seeking additional vendors and booth hosts for "Fright Night," Vendors spaces are offered free as long as vendors supply treats such as candy to the trick or treaters.
"The Chamber and the Alliance just want to help families have a fun, safe holiday with these free events," according to Watson. Who added that the Haunted House although free, will accept donations for future youth programs and events.
Everyone is invited to attend, according to Watson.
There will be an after party open to the public that will be on a first come basis. As these events wind down, the Alliance Youth Arts Council will host a third, free, Saturday event, with DJ music, refreshments and all the fun of Halloween, at the Banning Woman's Club, 175 W. Hays, just two blocks west of the events.
"The Art of Halloween Fun and after Party" will run from 8:45 to 11:00 p.m. with it's own costume contest and a party atmosphere. Space is limited at this after party event and will be on a first come basis.
For more information on being a vendor at the "Fright Night" event contact the Chamber at (951) 849-4695 For additional information or to participate with the "Art of a Good Scare" contact (909) 645-6545.
To get to the event take I-10 to 8th Street, Banning, go one block north to Ramsey, right to San Gorgonio. The Banning Chamber and the Alliance wish to thank the City of Banning and it's residents for their continued support which helps to keep these events free.
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