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Ceres conjures up Halloween magic at Community Center
Dracula participates in the 2011 Ceres Halloween festival costume contest. This years event will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Ceres Community Center, 2701 4th St. - photo by Photo Contributed

Don’t count on spirits being low this Halloween. Despite the trademark holiday landing on a Wednesday, Ceres Community Center is hosting a Halloween Festival from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. that is free to monster mashers of any age (although, children must be accompanied by an adult). The event, which will be held at 2701 4th St. in Ceres, offers a multitude of mysteries and mysticism that are designed to keep everyone entertained, and primarily safe for this invigorating weeknight.

Cambria Pollinger, the recreation supervisor for Ceres, said the event is designed to appeal to all ages. The festival, which is sponsored by churches, non-profit organizations and the Ceres Lions Clubs, aims to bring the community together to celebrate an evening of fun and fantasy. Members of the Ceres and Central Valley High Schools, as well as local junior high students from Mae Hensley and Blaker Kinser, will be offering volunteer work to help with added accommodations and assistance.

The festival consists of a costume contest, carnival games, a mad science room, free dance lessons (let’s hope “Thriller” is involved), a craft station, free photographs, musical squares, and a fun activity room. Fortune tellers, face painters, and a petting zoo will also be made available for this special, spellbound night. It should be noted beforehand that candy will not be given out at the center, however, the Ceres Lions Club has provided funds in order for goodie bags to be distributed to the children, the contents of which feature crayons and coloring books.

Dr. Lucky is also offering free medical advice, a diabetes check, and blood pressure examinations as a treat to parents.

Instead of children feasting on candy, the kids are encouraged to join in the physical fun outdoors. The parking lot of the center will be turned into a race track, where children will be urged to join a tricycle race.

Another activity that Pollinger promises to be a popular event is a ride to a haunted house presented near Whitmore Park, which is promoted and managed by the Ceres Boy Scouts. A tram will also take the riders through the “haunted” Whitmore Mansion property just a block away from the Community Center. The historic mansion is newly decorated from the outside to resemble a menacing spook-fest for the viewers, featuring an eerie witch summoning outsiders to come fulfill her evil mischief.

For more information, call Cambria Pollinger at 538-5782.

— BROOKE BORBA / 209 reporter