Ghouls and goblins of all ages will have a monster of a good time. The event also offers free daytime trick or treating for children 12 and under in costume from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with vendors offering free candy and toys. In addition the first 500 kids will receive a treat bag packed with goodies including local attraction tickets, Gaslamp Popcorn and other surprises.
Other free activities for kids include face painting from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., all day craft activities by the Orange County Therapeutic Art Center and the “Hilarious Halloween Haunt” puppet show presented by Franklin Haynes Marionettes at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
They can also vie for free ice cream in the 4th annual I Scream for Ice Cream Contest presented by Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlours at 1 p.m. and hosted by the Professor from FreakShow Deluxe. There are divisions for 12 years and under and 13 to 18 years, and winners receive a Zoo party. Second and third place winners also win gift certificates for free ice cream. Contestants can pre-register by sending an email to Scream4IceCream@mail.com Space is limited to 15 contestants per division.
Featured entertainment includes the Skeleton Crew from FreakShow Deluxe performing feats of sword swallowing, glass eating, straight jacket escapes, bed of nails and other carnival side show acts at noon and 2:45 p.m. ; a Day of the Dead Tribute dance performance at 11: 15 a.m. by Relampago del Cielo Grupo de Folklorico; an all day exhibition of snakes, reptiles, tarantulas and other creepy crawlies from the Southern California Herpetology Association and Rescue and carving expert Doug Goodreau from Peculiar Pumpkin Portraits creating monsters and other creatures infused with a cultural blend of techniques by Thai fruit carving artists.
Geared for ages 13 years and older, the Dead Ringers Costume Contest at 2 p.m. seeks those who resemble someone famous, living or dead. Hosted by Addams Family Morticia and Gomez look alikes, winners win cash awards and trophies. To enter send an email 2014DeadRingers@mail.com to pre-register. Space is limited.
Also among the highlights is the 15th annual Halloween Hearse Show which in addition to its regular display of antique, classic and restored hearses , funeral cars and ambulances, a special Bug and Monster Show has been added this year. Invited are owners of vintage VW Beetles and Bugs, black , orange, green and white cars (any year up to 1979.) and Cobras, Spiders, Vipers, Barracudas from any year. Hearses will arrive into the Market Place at 10:30 a.m. following a procession on the streets surrounding the OC Fair & Event Center.
Other attractions include monsters, mask and zombie sculptures by artist-sculptor Larry Carr of Abracadaver Productions, who creates characters for film, amusement parks and haunted attractions throughout the world.
Strolling entertainment includes Dr. I.M. Mad and stilt Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein and gourmet food trucks such as the Burger Monster and Farrell’s Ice Cream offering a Sundae of the Dead will be at the Festival.
A blood drive and marrow screening by Lifestream will be held all day and donors will receive a free zombie t-shirt.