By Molly Cerreta Smith

Finally it’s October and time to start celebrating all things fall — namely that residents can go outside and enjoy the enviable weather! With October comes the fall holidays that make this season so much fun — including Halloween. This year, the North 32nd Costume Party is celebrating its fifth year with the return to Crystal Cove Park, located at 2352 E. Christy Dr. in Phoenix.

Part of the “Sheaborhood” for approximately six years, when Allison Barnett moved to the valley she started this event as a way to celebrate Halloween, get involved in the community and bring neighborhoods and families together. “I hadn’t celebrated Halloween in a while and I just thought it would be fun,” she shares, noting that each year she focuses on how to make the event bigger and better.

At each event, businesses and non-profits are invited to come out and offer fun activities for the kids such as games, bean bag toss, face painting, water games and of course there is the playground at the park which provides fun activity for the little ones as well. “We like to think of this event as a way for neighborhood companies to promote their businesses but also for families to come out and have a good time.” In addition, there is always a raffle to raise funds for a local non-profit. Vendors often have candy and trinkets to serve as an opportunity for kids to trick or treat too.

While vendors pay a nominal fee of $50 and non-profits just $25, the Annual North 32nd Costume Party is free for guests, and open to families around the valley — not just in the 32nd Street and Shea Boulevard area. “We are here to build community so we really want to keep community events free,” says Barnett. “And we’re always looking to attract people to our neighborhood by hosting events like this — so the more the merrier. We have so many parks and great families here — it’s a big spectrum of new families, grandparents and we welcome everyone to come enjoy the party.”

Be sure to come dressed your best, as the costume contest isn’t just for the kids! Whole families often get in the spirit with themed costumes and there is even a contest for the four-legged friends who dress their part! This year’s North 32nd Costume Party takes place Saturday, October 26 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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