Kids dressed in all kinds of creative costumes put in an appearance at Perris’ annual Harvest Festival Oct. 21 at the Cesar Chavez Public Library, across the street from City Hall.
The yearly event featured a pumpkin-carving contest, costume contests, a magic show, a bounce house and carnival-type games. Hundreds of people took part in what has become a signature event in Perris.
Mayor Pro Tem Rita Rogers dropped by with her grandson, Jordan, who wore a skeleton costume.
“This is fun because all the little children get to come out, have a great time and celebrate Halloween in a safe environment,” Rogers said. “It’s one of the great things we do every year in the City. It’s an honor to serve on the City Council where we get to do such things for our City and our youth.”
The event always draws an enthusiastic crowd of parents with their children, teenagers and adults who dress up in an assortment of characters in costumes from classics like Sponge Bob, Captain America, Dr. Seuss, Batman, Dora the Explorer and Jason from the Friday the 13th series. Then there are the usual angels, princesses, bunnies, cats, sorcerers, vampires and zombies. New characters like Deadpool also put in an appearance.
Chaka Thomas attended with her children—Jasmine Briggs, 17, Amina Briggs, 5, and Samarra Briggs, 2. It was the family’s first Harvest Festival in Perris.
“The kids love it,” Thomas said. “It’s affordable and it’s fun. The City of Perris cares about its residents and it shows when they offer us a safe and sane Halloween.”
Kristine Banks brought her children, Travis Banks, 5, and Lily Jurgens, 2, after learning about the Harvest Festival online. The family has enjoyed other events in Perris, like the annual Strut Your Mutt.
“It’s fun to see the kids come out and enjoy the entertainment,” Banks said. “City events are easy to enjoy, well-planned and close to home.”
The costume contests, judged by a trio of Perris employees, held throughout the festival proved a highlight of the evening. Mynor Piedrasanta and his wife, Joan, were delighted when their daughter, Isabella, 3, took top honors for her Tinkerbell costume, earning a bucket loaded with candy. It was the family’s first visit to the Harvest Festival.
“It’s great to bring children out here for a wonderful time,” Mynor Piedrasanta said. “I’m pleased to be here and I’m pleased to be part of this community.”
Other highlights included a performance by magician Ian Galloway, face painting and several dance routines, including one by the ensemble Movement Lifestyle, choreographed by Recreation Leader Jessica Munoz.
Greg Parks Jr., his wife, Mariana, and daughters, Jaelee, 5, Violet, 4, and Amelia, 3, attend the Perris event yearly. It’s a show they would never miss.
“We love it,” Greg Parks said. “Our daughters love it. The City makes it a real community event.”