Minions Rule at Santa Clara’s Halloween Party

By Melissa McKenzie

Costumed characters roamed the hallways of the Santa Clara Walter E. Schmidt Youth Activity Center and Teen Center, picking up treats and playing games during the City’s annual Halloween party on Oct. 31.

Although billed as an activity for preschoolers through fifth graders, the family-friendly festivities were far-reaching and children of all ages – toddlers to teens – donned costumes and got into the fun.

Thirteen-year-old Brianna Fernandez, an eighth grader and Cabrillo Middle School, volunteered to help pass out candy on trick-or-treat row, where six “houses” were built for candy-seekers to knock on doors and demand treats from, or threaten to trick, costume-clad volunteers.

“I like to volunteer and help out with anything I can,” said Fernandez, who dressed like a Minion to keep with this year’s “Minions Halloween Party” theme. Fernandez said that after her behind-the-door tasks were complete, she planned to enjoy the event before going trick-or-treating with friends.

In addition to trick-or-treat row, the indoor/outdoor event had two bounce houses, arts and crafts activities, a pumpkin walk, carnival games with treats as prizes, an indoor inflatable slide and a costume contest. The City even booked Bay Area magician, Spencer Grey, who will soon be leaving the area to become a resident magician at the famed The Magic Castle in Los Angeles, to perform three shows throughout the three-hour event that saw hundreds of Santa Clara residents get into the holiday spirit.

San Jose resident Patricia Moreno attended with her four children, three of whom were by her side during the event. Her eldest, 13, is a student at Cabrillo and her three younger children were dressed to impress; with her four-year-old daughter dressed as the popular Princess Sofia the First, three-year-old daughter as Moana and one-year-old son also getting into the island spirit by wearing a Maui costume Moreno made herself.

“[This event] is really family-oriented,” said Moreno who resided in Santa Clara until recently. “The kids get to play and there’s a costume contest. They have a lot of fun and we come every year. It’s a safe place for them to play.”

The YAC and Teen Center are at 2446 and 2450 Cabrillo Ave. in Santa Clara and open after school for Santa Clara youth and teens. Visit http://santaclaraca.gov/government/departments/parks-recreation/youth-activity-center-yac for a list of activities and events at each location.