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OC Market Place Halloween Festival Scares Up Frightfully Fun Activities


Ghouls and goblins young and old can take in a full day of events, contests, and entertainment during the 18th Annual Trick or Treat Festival slated for Sunday, Oct. 25 at the OC Market Place in Costa Mesa.The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Themed “Frightfully Fun” the Festival will offer free daytime trick or treating from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for children, ages 12 and under, in costume from several vendors and Market Place operations offering free candy and treats. In addition the first 500 kids in line will receive a treat bag filled with goodies and a variety of local attractions tickets.

There will also be free face painting and puppet making, magic shows, sing for sweets karaoke, sing-alongs with the Ukulady, games with prizes, strolling entertainment and an exhibition of snakes, reptile, tarantulas and other creatures from the Southern California Herpetology Association and Rescue.


Among the highlights is the 16th Annual Halloween Hearse Show which in addition to its regular display of antique, classic and restored hearses, funeral cars and ambulances, includes a Bug and Monster Show for vintage VW Beetles and Bugs, 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.

This year’s pumpkin carving exhibition by artist-sculptor Doug Goodreau might be the most peculiar of all displays: the Potential Presidential Candidate Pumpkin Heads, which will feature Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton pumpkin sculptures. There will also be a mock election to vote for the “scarier” of the two Jack-O-Lanterns.

Children 13 and under can also participate in the Frightfully Fun Costume Contest at noon presented by Lakeshore Learning Store for original costumes ( No store bought costumes) to win $25 gift cards and trophies for Most Humorous, Scariest, Most Creative and Best Use of Recycled Materials. Lakeshore is also sponsoring an all day Spooktacular Puppet Making Workshop.


The 5th Annual I Scream for Ice Cream Contest at 1 p.m. presented by Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlours returns to award the best blood curdling shrieks with a Zoo party. There are two divisions: six years and under and seven to 12 years. Space is limited to 15 contestants per division. Sign-ups start an hour prior to the contest.

Contests for older age groups, 13 years and older, will include a pair of costume contests sponsored by El Torito Restaurants and Who Song & Larry’s Cantina starting at 2:15 p.m. They include the Frightfully Dead Costume Contest for zombie; mummy etc. versions of anything or anyone famous or not famous and the Day of the Dead Costume Contest for anyone donning attire and makeup in honor of Dia de los Muertos. Winners receive restaurant gift cards: $75 for first place, $50 for second place and $25 for third place.

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 and Day of the Dead Tribute dances from El Fuego de la Vida which includes fire spinning and traditional performances by Relampago del Cielo Grupo de Folklorico.

Gourmet food trucks will be offering regular bill of fare as well as Halloween specials such as the Pumpkin Pie Melt: Pumpkin Spiced Mascarpone Cheese with Candied Walnuts and Toasted Marshmallow from the Grilled Cheese Truck.

Admission, which includes the Trick or Treat Festival and the Orange County Market Place, is $2 or free for kids 12 and under. The Market Place is held at the OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa.

More info at or call 949-723-6660.

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