Kids show off their costumes and pumpkin painting creativity at inaugural Pretzel Park Fall Festival

Before Hurricane Sandy swept through the neighborhood, residents of Manayunk spent the weekend celebrating the Halloween season at the Pretzel Park Fall Festival. Parents looking to catch some of the tranquil fall air brought their kids and dogs, many of whom were in costume, to the Manayunk park on Saturday for the all-day Halloween event.

The day kicked off at 9 a.m. with a 5K costume run to support the DePaul Catholic School at Bryn Mawr Running Co., before children started strolling into the park. The costumes kept coming with the costumed dog parade, featuring “bumbledogs” and “SuperDogs,” and the children’s costume parade and contest later on.

Joan Kurylak, from the Manayunk Roxborough Art Center, helped to set up and run a booth that offered face painting and pumpkin painting.

“[We’re] letting kids explore their creative side a little bit,” she said before chuckling. “We’ve seen a lot of abstract work. Really cute Jack-O-Lantern style faces and other kinds of designs we’ve been coming up with. It’s cool to see what they do.”

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Families were able to set up in front of a picturesque fall/Halloween scene by the pretzel statue for family photos, where even Dorothy was able to get her picture taken with Toto. Merge Dance Studio also set up a special performance in the park in the afternoon.

Local mom Karen Castrovallo planned to spend a few hours in the park with her daughter after receiving a flyer about the event in the mail a few weeks ago.

“We heard about the dancing and the pumpkin painting. [My daughter] likes the pumpkin throwing and getting candy.”

Karen’s daughter, Madison, was at the pumpkin painting booth focusing on a scary creation of her own.

“I’m making it kind of look like it’s bleeding around its eyes… it has four teeth on the top and two teeth on the bottom,” she said.

With live music and a Twilight screening of Bela Lugosi’s classic film Voodoo Man, parents, kids, and dogs alike got to spend a fun, long day in the park celebrating the Halloween spirit in the calm before the storm.

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