The North Fort Myers Community Park holds its annual Fall Festival each year in October around Halloween at its community center. Officials are now looking for businesses and organizations to reserve space at no charge except for some trick or treat candy.
It is always held the Friday before Halloween, this year on Friday, Oct. 26, from 6 to 9 p.m. This 12th annual Fall Festival event is a popular free event for the community, with many years topping over 1,500 in attendance. A highlight is a costume contest, with children in costume (up to 150) receiving a free bag of safe candy after a costume contest.
Another big part of the event is a Safe Trick-Or-Treat around tables set on the grounds and the football field.
Now is the time for businesses and organizations to secure a free spot, said Senior Recreation Specialist James Pittro. "The only thing we require is that they hand out candy."
He said you can decorate in a fall theme, bring signs and small promotional items and coupons, along with the individually wrapped candy, but there cannot be any sales at the tables.
"From the community, we also need any types of donations including sponsorships for the bounce house, hay ride, and we are looking for entertainment in general. "We are also definitely looking for more raffle items."
"And definitely candy donations for the goodie bags," added senior recreation specialist Jenniffer Valez, who is also in charge of the event. "They must be single, unwrapped candy in their original wrappers, sealed."
"The event itself is all for free, and we already have some great donations. We would like to give a shout out to Chick-fil-A who is donating food for the volunteers and they will also be sending their mascot here, and have a Plinko game for the kids," she said.
"Perkins is also donating coupons, and they will be having their mascot Kelley the Cookie here."
Students who attend the afterschool program at the park are excited to help with the event. That includes 9-year-old Kagan Vann, who recently filled in for Frankenstein's monster while all were checking out Fall Fest props. A North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts student, he said the best thing about Halloween is the "candy and scaring people."
Student Megan Serrano has been to the Festival many times. "I usually go every year. I like the haunted walk the best," she said. "My brother was in it last year. He was in a coffin and would pop out."
Of her costume, she said, she's still deciding.
The Pop Warner football concession stand will be open to purchase food and drinks at the event.
Last year, torrential rain dampened the fun, so this year officials have a rain date, Friday, Nov. 2.
The North Park Community Center is behind the North Fort Myers Library. Construction is now underway for a new center, located at the front of the park, which is expected to open in Spring 2013.
For information call 652-4512.