Tag Archives: Halloween

Burbank / LAPD Team Up For Halloween Safety Tips

Each year, children take to the streets to scare the bedazzle out of people in exchange for some great candy treats.  LAPD’s Traffic Division and Burbank Police teamed up to remind parents as well as kids to be careful during Halloween.

Burbank Motor Sergent Kerry Schlif speaks at Press Confrence held by LAPD on Halloween Safety. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Motor Sergent Kerry Schlif speaks at Press Confrence held by LAPD on Halloween Safety. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Twice as many children are hit by cars on Halloween then any other day of the year,” stated Captain Charles Hearn of the LAPD. “There are 41 million expected kids on the street throughout the country tonight.

Last year we had 16 traffic accidents in the Valley with children involved,” stated the Captain.

Some of the reminders for parents include:

  • Always escort your children with a flashlight
  • Be familiar with the area
  • Set a specific time when young children are out
  • Always know who is trick or treating with your children
  • Never let your kids enter a strangers home
  • Walk on sidewalks, not in streets
  • Inspect all candy before children eat it

and for the kids….

  • do not trick or treat by yourself
  • stay out of alleys
  • obey all the traffic lights and always look in both directions when crossing the street
  • do not run
  • wait until you get home before eating treats

It is also important for motorists to be aware of children, especially when entering or exiting driveways and try to stay off the cell phone while driving.

Burbank Motors Sgt. Kerry Schlif and Officer Randy Lloyd at Halloween Safety Press conference. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Motors Sgt. Kerry Schlif and Officer Randy Lloyd at Halloween Safety Press conference. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Detective William Bustos of the Valley Traffic Division wants to also make parents aware of the fake packaging that contain marijuana and not candy.  There are many illegal products out on the street that look exactly like well known candy products, but with just a little difference in the names.

“It is really important for parents to inspect all of the candy their children receive,” said Bustos. “It just takes a second to spread out the candy and inspect it.”

Burbank Motor Officers Randy Lloyd and Sgt. Kerry Schlif were also on hand to enforce the safety message.

Schlif reminded parents to make sure they kept on eye on their kids and were safe when walking neighborhoods.

Also mentioned were being careful of candy, especially dark chocolate and dogs.  If a dog consumes chocolate, especially dark chocolate, it could kill the animal.

Burbank Motor Officers Randy Lloyd and Sgt. Kerry Schlif. ( Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Motor Officers Randy Lloyd and Sgt. Kerry Schlif. ( Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Halloween Nightlife in Burbank 2013

Photo Courtesy of Toby Ord

Photo Courtesy of Toby Ord

Halloween will be here in two days, and instead of going out to West Hollywood or Santa Monica, why not stay here in Burbank for some Halloween nightlife? Below is a list of some Halloween events in Burbank. If you hear of anything you want to add to the list, tweet us at @MyBurbankNights!

 

 

“Nightmare at the Museum” – Haunted Wilsley Manor II, featuring a walk-through maze. Every year the theme of the house changes, and this year, it’s a haunted museum! Oct. 31, 7:00-10:00 p.m. http://www.rottenapple907.com

“The Backwoods Maze”- Haunted maze perfect for Halloween! Oct. 31, 7:00-10:00 p.m. https://www.facebook.com/TheBackwoodsMaze?rf=152756731433886

Fear House- Haunted front yard walk-through maze. http://www.hollywoodgothique.com/2013/10/2013-halloween-recommendation-burbank-yard-haunts-tour/

Lucy’s 51- Halloween party starring KISS tribute band! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=562608493818821&set=a.553699164709754.1073741896.128860277193647&type=1&theater

Viva Cantina- Costumes, drink specials and live music http://www.vivacantina.com

Flappers Comedy- Thomas Dale and Karen Rontowski 7:30, 8:00, 10:00 p.m. http://flapperscomedy.com/site/

Michael’s Bar & Grill- Karaoke and costume contest, 9:30-2:00 a.m. http://michaelsonolive.com

Barney’s Beanery- Costume contest, drink specials and karaoke, 10:00 p.m. http://www.barneysbeanery.com/#!burbank/c8w2

The Hollywood Way- Halloween drink specials http://www.thehollywoodwaybbq.com

Burbank Bar and Grille- Karaoke night http://www.burbank-barandgrill.com

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride- 7:00-10:30 p.m. http://www.losangeleshauntedhayride.com/index2.html#/hours

Falcon Theatre- See “The Mystery of Irma Vep” and wear your costume! http://www.falcontheatre.com

Timmy Nolan’s- Staff will be dressed in Halloween costume, drink specials, check-in deals for costume wearers http://timmynolans.net

 

Yummy Cupcakes Sweetens Magnolia Park

By Lisa Paredes
Associate
Editor

For almost a decade, Yummy Cupcakes has been baking up exciting combinations at their flagship shop on Magnolia Blvd. in the Magnolia Park district of Burbank. Known for a wide selection of flavors that change from day to day, Yummy Cupcakes has drawn on the Halloween theme and introduced some special flavors and decorations for the month of October.

With vegan, sugar-free and gluten-less options available every day, along with popular favorites, the new creations for October include the aptly-named: Blackout, Blood Orange, Caramel Apple, Devil Dog, Midnight Delight, Trick or Treat and more. There are so many offerings that a Daily Flavor Calendar is required to keep track of them all.

Mini cupcakes in Brown Sugar Cinnamon and Pancakes n' Bacon pump up the early morning. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Mini cupcakes in Brown Sugar Cinnamon and Pancakes n’ Bacon pump up the early morning. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Recently, I’ve stopped in a few times to check out the varying flavors. One morning, my family took advantage of their Monday – Friday early hours (7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.) special of a dozen mini cupcakes, split evenly between Pancakes n’ Bacon and Brown Sugar Cinnamon. They’re so filling, just two minis are plenty for a breakfast bite. Crazily enough, the slightly salty bacon really does work with the pancake and maple syrup flavored cupcake and not-too-sweet frosting. The kids’ favorite of the two kinds is the Brown Sugar Cinnamon with its lightly crunchy topping under a small amount of piped frosting.

Midnight Delight, Trick-or-treat, Peanut Butter Cup, from foreground left, clockwise rotation. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Midnight Delight, Trick or Treat, Peanut Butter Cup, from foreground left, clockwise rotation. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

While I have recently enjoyed the 7-Up and the lightly orange-y Blood Orange, the chocolatey cupcakes are consistently delicious and always tasty. Midnight Delight, a chocolate cake filled with a Cabernet cream, topped with chocolate frosting and decorated with a black spider, is absolutely fantastic – the Cabernet cream adds an exciting flavor to the otherwise regular chocolate cake.

My kids love the fun Trick or Treat cupcakes with the added bonus of mini candies decorating the top. If you’re not in the mood for chocolate, the Happy Day or 7-Up cupcakes are a light and sweet alternative.

Yummy Cupcakes is a great stop for a small, or a large, bite of something sweet and fun. The shop also sells Cupcake in a Jar, Cupcake on a Stick, Cupcake Push Pops, miniature cupcakes in all of the daily flavors and even more wild ways to enjoy cake and frosting. While they do a brisk business with online orders and special deliveries for nearby hotels and businesses, the shop also has a fairly consistent walk-up clientele.

The chefs at Yummy Cupcakes seem to delight in combining every flavor under the sun and coming up with some terrific concoctions in the process. The Magnolia Park shop is open and airy; people can watch the bakers mix batter and frost cupcakes, preparing them fresh behind glass-walled counters. Yummy Cupcakes is Tops In Town for consistently producing delicious and creative desserts on just about every day of the year.

Restaurant Info: Yummy Cupcakes is located at 2918 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA  91505. 818-558-1080. Open Monday – Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., also open Monday – Friday 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. for Breakfast Mini Cupcake Special and coffee only.

Yummy Capcakes receives: Tops In Town

myBurbank Ratings:
Tops In Town (Outstanding)
On The Marquee (Really Good)
Could Use A Rewrite (Average or Slightly Below)
Don’t Quit Your Day Job (Roadkill)

Craziness Ensues When Halloween and Baseball Collide

Gumby was tough on the mound as Chinese Take-out food watches closely

For the second straight year, Burbank High Head Varsity Coach Bob Hart celebrated Halloween by encouraging players to dress in their costumes and come out for practice.

Practice consisted of a baseball game with a basketball and some shortened bases.  The players came in all sorts of costumes with some more elaborate than others.  The game had to come to a quick end when Gumby spotted some Chinese takeout on the field and thought that Pokey had been slaughtered, since no one had dressed as a cat.

It’s a joke people – get over it!!

This is what Coach Bob Hart actually sees everyday when he looks at his players

All the baseball players at Burbank High dressed as something

Starlight Bowl Turns Scary This Weekend

Burbank’s Starlight Bowl will be the location for the annual Haunted Adventure that will offer a fun and slightly scary Halloween adventure for local residents.

Sponsored by the City of Burbank’s Stough Canyon Nature Center, the Haunted Adventure is in its 16th year.  Originally, it was put on the City’s Parks and Recreation Department at the Luau Grounds at the DeBell Golf Course.   When the Nature Center was built in 2001 the event was moved there.  It is now put on by docents and other volunteers from the Nature Center.

This year the Starlight Bowl will be transformed into an “old haunted theater,” with scary scenes around every corner.  As small groups of guests are ushered from Stough Park into the Starlight Bowl, they will encounter traditional scary scenes in the snack bar area, dressing rooms, storage rooms, and the stage.  A “ghostly audience” may even greet them as they make their way through the 15-minute guided tour.

Carol Mercado, Recreation Supervisor in charge of the Nature Center estimates that 70 volunteers have been working since August to put together the show.  High school students, and some adults, make up the ghostly and sometimes grisly cast of the Haunted Adventure.  They do it for fun, but the volunteers do get fed each night, thanks to Domino’s Pizza and the Handy Market.

Last year’s Haunted Adventure featured a scary tour of Burbank in honor of the City’s Centennial celebration.  Independent Studio Services has generously donated movie props each year.  Many of the props are saved and used over again each year.  The volunteers have cleverly altered them to fit this year’s theme.

The Haunted Adventure will be held two nights only, Friday and Saturday, October 19 and 20.  Admission is $5 per person, and tickets go on sale at Stough Park at 7 p.m. until 9 p.m.  Ample free parking is available in the large lot across the street from the park on Lockheed View Drive.  The park can be reached by driving up Walnut Ave.

Those attending must be at least 6 years old.  Because of the scary nature of the event, no child under 6 will be allowed.  Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.  The first hour on Friday evening will feature the “less-scary” version of the show for children and those who have nightmares.  However, there are no refunds for scared visitors.  Costumes worn by visitors and props are prohibited, in order to keep visitors from being confused with actors.   Flashlights are also prohibited on the tour.   Walking up hill, and walking up and down stairs is involved on the tour.

Refreshments will be sold in Stough Park, as well as face painting, children’s activities, and souvenirs will be offered. There is a fee for refreshments and souvenirs.   For more information about the Haunted Adventure, call 818-238-5440.

 

Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” Makes it’s Return This Month

This year’s “Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood brings together the sickest minds in horror to immerse guests in the living, breathing, three-dimensional world of the most notorious and terrifying creatures.  Featuring a slate of unrivaled film production quality mazes, terror-filled Scare Zones and a fully re-imagined “Terror Tram” experience, uniquely themed to today’s most definitive horror properties, “Halloween Horror Nights” will taunt, terrorize and torment guests for 19 nights with spellbinding and spine-chilling haunted attractions during Southern California’s definitive Halloween event.

Adding to the event’s intrigue, Universal’s most popular rides and attractions will also be open to guests, including the new critically-acclaimed mega-attraction, “Transformers TM:  The Ride—3D,” “Jurassic Park® In the Dark,” “The Simpsons RideTM” and “Revenge of the MummySM – The Ride.”

“Halloween Horror Nights” kicks off on Friday, September 21, 2012 and continues on 19 select nights through Halloween, Wednesday, October 31.  Event dates are:  September 21, 22, 28, 29; October 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, 31. The event will begin nightly at 7:00 p.m.; closing hours vary by night throughout the event.

For more information and to purchase tickets, including options for Front of Line tickets that enables priority access at each maze and theme park attraction, and special Killer Deal Nights tickets to save up to $25, guests can visit www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com/hhn,.  Advance purchase is recommended as event nights will sell out.

Details on “Halloween Horror Nights” are available at Halloween Horror Nights, on Facebook at: “Halloween Horror Nights – Hollywood” and on Instagram @HorrorNightsHollywood or #UniversalHHN.  Updates from “Halloween Horror Nights’’ Creative Director John Murdy can be found on Twitter at: Twitter.com/HorrorNights, as he reveals a running chronicle of exclusive information.  “Halloween Horror Nights” maze announcement videos can be seen at Universal Studios Hollywood’s YouTube Channel.

 

Terrifying Mazes:

“The Walking Dead: Dead Inside”

A post-apocalyptic wasteland inhabited by predatory flesh-eating zombies or “walkers” sets the stage for “The Walking Dead:  Dead Inside,” an all-new multi-sensory “Halloween Horror Nights” maze based on AMC’s critically-acclaimed, Golden Globe®-nominated, Emmy® Award-winning TV series.

A virtual three-dimensional journey into the television series, “The Walking Dead: Dead inside,” will have “Halloween Horror Nights” guests literally walking in the doomed footsteps of the tormented humans left to roam Atlanta’s devastated suburban countryside as they battle a horde of predatory zombie “walkers” who have awakened from the dead to feast on the living.

Eerily authentic, “The Walking Dead: Dead Inside” maze will feature elaborately designed and disturbingly real “walkers” and sets cast from the molds and designs used to create the series. The riveting and immersive experience will match the show’s terrifying intensity that is both memorable and disturbing.

Universal Studios Hollywood is collaborating with AMC and the show’s creative team, including Greg Nicotero, Co-Executive Producer and Special Effects Makeup-up Artist for the series, to create an experience that is frighteningly realistic to the show.

“We want people to experience the same terror of the walker-filled reality our characters faced in seasons one and two – and will continue to face in our third season,” said Nicotero. “Our collaboration with Universal Studios’ creative teams is exciting as we work to truly capture the essence of the show.”

A similar maze will appear at Universal Orlando Resort.

 

“Terror Tram:  Invaded by The Walking Dead”

Terror Tram:  Invaded by The Walking Dead,” also based on the hit AMC TV series, will unleash hordes of flesh-eating and blood-drooling “walkers” on Universal’s world-famous backlot during Halloween Horror Nights, exposing guests to a legion of plagued zombies in the aftermath of the disease’s cataclysmic spread to the West Coast.

The world of television fantasy will collide with grim reality when “Terror Tram:  Invaded by The Walking Dead” pits guests face-to-face with a swarm of living corpses doomed to stalk Universal Studio’s famed backlot—-the heart of the world’s original horror moviemaking studio.

“The ‘Terror Tram’ is one of the most popular ’Halloween Horror Nights’ attractions since it’s the only time people can walk on the historic Universal backlot where the horror film genre was born,” said John Murdy, Creative Director, “Halloween Horror Nights”.  “The juxtaposition of the backlot’s rural setting amid a small town devastated by a horrific plane wreckage complements the TV series’ sets almost to a tee and provides the ideal backdrop to showcase  the ‘walkers’ from AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ on a grand scale.”

A marquee attraction unique to Universal Studios Hollywood and “Halloween Horror Nights,” the “Terror Tram” combines a ride aboard Universal’s signature trams with a terrifying walk-through experience through world-famous movie sets including Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds” and the infamous Bates Motel and Psycho House from Alfred Hitchcock’s signature film.

 

“Welcome to Silent Hill”

The demented multiverse of the popular horror video game and motion picture franchise, “Silent Hill,” comes to life in a new “Halloween Horror Nights” maze, “Welcome to Silent Hill,” designed to torment guests with horrifying creatures borne from an alternate dimension.

The dark and twisted maze, a fusion of the “Silent Hill” video game, the 2006 film and its highly-anticipated sequel, “Silent Hill:  Revelation 3D,” opening nationwide on October 26, 2012, will lure guests into the town’s once rural mining community, now ash-laden following the aftermath of a devastating industrial fire.

“Welcome to Silent Hill” will beckon guests into its eerily desolate town, inhabited by “The Order,” a fanatical religious cult bent on terrorizing existing inhabitants with barbarous acts of ritual violence.  Guests will be recruited into the hell that is Silent Hill, where they will traverse the environs of the town’s dual dimensions of “Fog World” and “Other World,” and fluctuate between a universe shrouded in dark, dense fog and that of a place cloaked in rust, decay, blood and flesh.

The inexplicable account of terror and torture of an innocent child, Alessa, sacrificed at a burning stake in a misguided attempt to bring about new world order is what caused the town’s dichotomy, and guests will be exposed to the agony, hatred and unspeakable sins that ravaged the small town of Silent Hill.

A similar maze will appear at Universal Orlando Resort.

 

“Alice Cooper Goes to Hell 3D”

Multi-platinum recording artist Alice Cooper, a mastermind of the rock horror genre, will conjure up his peculiar vision of disturbing horror imagery when he makes for an encore performance at Universal Studios Hollywood in a new “Halloween Horror Nights” maze.

Alice Cooper’s new haunted attraction, “Alice Cooper Goes to Hell 3D,” will be inspired by the musician’s classic concept album centered on unending darkness, relentless torment and unimaginable horrors.  The terrifying experience will beckon guests to teeter at Hell’s interminable inferno as imagined through the eyes of this hard rock visionary.  To maximize this daunting new maze, guests will don 3D glasses for an optimum up-close and personal three-dimensional encounter with Alice Cooper’s underworld.

This original, one-of-a-kind maze will feature trademark elements from Alice Cooper’s celebrated stage performances including guillotine decapitations and electric chairs and will be fueled by an infernal soundtrack culled from Alice Cooper’s six-decade, Hall of Fame career.  Paired with the concept of the Seven Deadly Sins, the maze will spiral guests through Alice’s vortex of hades where they will encounter a series of sin all under the influence of music. For example, Gluttony will emerge through the song “Eat Some More.”  Wrath will be exposed through the song “Killer.” Greed will manifest itself in Alice Cooper’s “Sick Things” song, and Lust will transcend through the song, “Sex, Death and Money.”

Sharing his enthusiasm, Alice Cooper said, “I grew up watching classic Universal horror movies so it’s a thrill for me to work with Universal’s designers to create the quintessential Alice Cooper maze for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood.  Last year, Universal Studios Hollywood scared the wits out of me with their maniacal and demented creation and they’ve promised to up the ante with ‘Alice Cooper Goes To Hell 3D.’  I can’t wait to see the final terrifying masterpiece. It will be hell!  Let’s see if they can scare me!”

An Alice Cooper-inspired maze, “Welcome to My Nightmare,” will appear at Universal Orlando Resort.

 

“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre:  The Saw is the Law”

The tragic and demented account of Leatherface and his deranged family of cannibals set the stage for this year’s new “Halloween Horror Nights” maze, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Saw is the Law,” based on filmmaker Tobe Hooper’s notoriously unsettling 1974 horror film classic.

The chilling new maze will mirror the original American horror film classic, hailed among the most influential horror movies in cinematic history, and recount the story of five friends who unsuspectingly fall victim to the ghastly terrors and torment of a depraved and cannibalistic Texas clan.  Those who dare to step into the inner workings of a slaughterhouse maze will be gripped with vivid telltale signs of imminent doom.

Gruesome and blood-soaked scenes from the controversial movie will terrorize guests, rendering them defenseless when their senses are overcome with nightmarish images flashed from the movie’s most memorable scenes:  mutilated bodies dangling from bloody meat hooks; putrid odors of decomposed corpses and human remains, and animal pelts suspended from the ceiling, as they try to escape from the unmistakable sound of roaring chainsaws revving to life.

 

 “La Llorona: Cazadora de Niños”

(“Weeping Woman:  The Child Hunter”)

The terrifying Mexican legend of La Llorona returns to Universal Studios Hollywood in the reimagined “Halloween Horror Nights” maze, “La Llorona: Cazadora de Niños.”

La Llorona, the fearful story of melancholy and murder that has terrified Mexican and Latin American children for generations, returns to Halloween Horror Nights, recounting the tortured tale of a mother who drowns her children in a desperate attempt to win a lost love.  When her attempt fails, she drowns herself and is doomed to wander the earth forever after.

According to the legend, La Llorona’s eternally piercing nocturnal cries—“My children!  Where are my children?”—can be heard as her frail, drenched body lurks throughout the dead of night.  Her unsightly presence elicits unwavering dread from the helpless village inhabitants or maze guests as it woefully signifies impending death.

“La Llorona:  Cazadora de Niños,” which translates to “Weeping Woman:  The Child Hunter,” will feature elaborate sets depicting scenes of a small Mexican village and will tell the haunting story through the mind’s eye of a child, riddled with despair and dread, gore and evil.

 

“Universal Monsters Remix”

Universal’s infamous legacy of horror will come to an afterlife in “Universal Monsters Remix,” an all-new terrifying experience that re-imagines the classic horror icons of yesteryear for the 21st century and immerses them in the twisted confines of electronica-inspired music during “Halloween Horror Nights.”

Set within the antechambers of an eerily gothic castle, the new “Universal Monsters Remix” maze will unleash a cast of movies’ most legendary creatures, including Frankenstein’s Monster and his Bride, Dracula and his Brides, Phantom of the Opera and The Wolf Man.

From deep within the stone fortress, accompanied by ominous strobe lighting effects, guests will traverse dark and dank arteries of rotting catacombs, hallowed underground crypts and pagan sacrificial burial chambers.  Laced with the murmur of dialogue from Universal’s catalogue of horror films, guests will be besieged by the relentless sounds of high-energy, horror-inspired dance, dub-step and industrial music.

 

Terror-Filled “Scare Zones”

Lurking in dark corners and prowling for prey throughout “Halloween Horror Nights” are countless “scare-actors” and numerous horror-filled “Scare Zones” designed to startle, shock and scare guests at every twist and turn.  This year, “Scare Zones” will provoke a new sense of terror in guests.

Silent Hill:  The most depraved small town residents will mercilessly torment anyone who treks into the “Silent Hill” Scare Zone corridor.  While the infamous Bogeyman seeks revenge, a group of hideously disfigured Nurses prepare to scar – physically and emotionally – unsuspecting victims that step into their path.  There will be no way of escaping the plight of his “Silent Hill” Scare Zone when Pyramid Head, the ruthless executioner of the “Other World” stabs aimlessly in the dark for a target in the dead of night.

Toyz:  Desperate times have taken a pathetic toll on the once friendly neighborhood Toy Maker.  A deceitful storefront façade beckons entry to “Toyz,” a seemingly blissful playland that juxtaposes the inner terror plaguing the shop where cruel and unspeakable horrors await.

Witches:  A coven of “Witches” burned at the stake to purge a local seaport village of their pagan influence has left this clan of black art sorcerers hell-bent on revenge.  Hunted and killed like wild animals, the Witches” swore eternal vengeance on their blood-thirsty killers and return on autumn nights to exorcise justice on those in their midst by burning the living.

Killer Klownz:  The circus may have come to town, but it is the “Killer Klownz” that are running the show in this gang-filled Scare Zone of violent killer clowns whose three ring circus entertains to the applause of murder and mayhem.

 

“Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure”

Party on as these two most excellent dudes return to skewer some of the biggest names in Hollywood. With astonishing topics torn from the pages of today’s most salacious tabloids and acid-tongue bloggers, the kings of comedic satire spin pop culture and celebrity public blunders into riotous laughter.  Bill and Ted, never without their most excellent time-traveling phone booth, add hilarity to the already ridiculous for sublime parody performances in the return of the very popular “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure.”

McKinley Students Join Search for the Great Pumpkin

BurbankNBeyond Feature Story

Students in Carol Derry's second grade class take their turn in the Pumpkin Patch. (Photos By Ross A. Benson)

 

 By John Savageau
BurbankNBeyond

      Nestled in a in an improvised field of straw and hay bales, guarded by several scarecrows and diligent parents, hundreds of pumpkins awaited adoption by eager students on Friday morning at William McKinley Elementary School.
     In its 12th year, McKinley’s PTA Pumpkin Patch provides students and parent volunteers a break from the routine, giving children a taste of Halloween and American culture.
     “Many of our students have never had a chance to see a real pumpkin patch” remarked event organizer Stephane McCorkle.  At the Pumpkin Patch, all McKinley students had a chance to rummage through the straw, picking out their favorite fruit.  “Everybody gets a pumpkin” confirmed McCorkle, ensuring a great time for all the kids.
     As Mr. Danielson’s 4th year class approached, the ‘Patch was transformed into a sea of colors, laughter, giggling, teasing, and a scene of teachers and volunteers connecting with students.  Some explaining to critical children a bit of the history of pumpkins, taking patience describing the abstract of a farm to city kids, others helping youngsters pick out the perfect pumpkin for their prize.
     Shannon Douglas, a volunteer at the ‘Patch and mother of a McKinley student praised the efforts of the McKinley PTA and teachers.  “This is the greatest school we have been to” said Douglas, “This is the hardest working PTA I’ve ever seen, and I am very impressed with the level of participation and positive attitudes of everybody in the school system.”
     Volunteers started building the Pumpkin patch at 6 in the morning, all excited to bring this slice of happiness to McKinley students – although it was a bit difficult to determine who was having the best time, as parents and volunteers shared and traded laughter equally with the students. 
     As all the children showed off their trophies, teachers ensured no student, even those who were absent, lacked a pumpkin.  Then, as each student signed a large “Thank You” card for the PTA, volunteers prepared the ‘Patch for the next class of children cheerfully anticipating their time on the McKinley farm.