Lombard's 'Spooktacular' promising low-cost fun
Families looking for affordable autumn fun can take part in safe trick-or-treating and fall-themed activities such as pumpkin decorating for $1 a child on Sunday during Lombard Town Centre's 10th annual Spooktacular Fall Fest.
"It is such a great family event," said Sarah Richardt, Lombard Town Centre executive director. "One of the best things is we have so many business sponsors that really embrace this event."
That includes large businesses such as Nissan and Fifth Third Bank, as well as downtown businesses that will hand out candy from noon to 2 p.m.
"That never gets old for kids," Richardt said, adding that every child is encouraged to dress in costume.
Starting around 7 a.m., Michael McGuire Drive, St. Charles between Main Street and Lincoln Avenue and Park Avenue between Michael McGuire and Orchard Terrace will be closed. Festivities will begin at 11 a.m. and run through 4 p.m. The streets are expected to reopen around 5 p.m.
Over the years, Richardt said the event has gone from extravagant, with zip lines and rock walls, to a more scaled-back celebration, with bounce houses, a petting zoo and an obstacle course.
"We don't want people waiting in line for things," she said. "We want to make sure everyone can get in and do what they want to do and make it more of a community activity."
New offerings this year include square dancing, doughnuts, apple cider and other harvest-themed activities offered by the Prairie Food Co-Op, which hopes to open a brick-and-mortar location in town that will offer locally produced, organic and natural foods.
"We really want Prairie Food to open soon," Richardt said. "We are happy to partner with them anyway we can."
A new pet costume contest is sponsored by Lombard Veterinary Hospital. Pet owners can drop off photos for the "dog," "cat" and "other" categories at the event, or email the photos to email@example.com by Oct. 31. Winners will receive a $100 gift certificate for services at the hospital.
"We're hoping people bring their dogs in costumes," Richardt said.
Crafters and food vendors will be at the event, as well as local bands playing live music. Sky Center Martial Arts and The Dance Center will put on performances that Richardt said are likely to draw large crowds.
Kids are encouraged to take part in spooky science experiments, crafts and a pumpkin hunt. The first 200 to find nine cartoon characters scattered around the downtown area and get a card stamped at each location will get a free pumpkin. The remaining children will get other prizes.
The event typically draws about 4,000 people from around DuPage County. Richardt said parking will be available in all the commuter parking lots, including lots on the south side of the train tracks that are now easily accessible to the event area via a new pedestrian underpass.
"We're not asking anything from you. We're asking you to come down and enjoy the day," she said. "If you want to shop at the vendors, you can. It's low stress, low to no cost, easy parking. It's a beautiful setting. Downtown Lombard is a beautiful place."