Thanks to the financial support of Schneider Insurance, backed by Motorists Insurance, Strathmore Development and state Rep. Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville), little ghosts and goblins will enjoy the family-friendly Creepside from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, at Creekside, 117 Mill St.
Zac Guthrie, parks and recreation specialist, said the annual festival was retained this year because of the financial support of the event sponsors.
"The community support and partners of Gahanna Parks & Recreation are vital to community events in Gahanna," he said. "We also anticipate more than 50 organizations who participate in the Trick-or-Treat Trail. This support demonstrates how special this event is to Gahanna."
This year, more than 100 volunteers have committed to the festival.
Pathway Church, home of Gahanna Christian Academy, will return with the "Not-so-Scary Trail" along the Big Walnut Creek.
"Our youth group really enjoys all the planning and preparation that goes into getting the games ready for the Not-So-Scary Trail," said Matthew Roberson, Pathway Church youth pastor. "The students really get into it, and seeing all the kids excited about the games makes it so worth it for us."
Roberson said he sees the event as a vital part of youth outreach.
"We're here to be a blessing to Gahanna, and it's wonderful to have the opportunity to show everyone what Pathway and GCA have to offer our community," he said.
Gahanna Christian Academy also has pledged volunteers to assist with other aspects of the event, including entry points, set-up, cleanup and logistical support.
Because of the significant cost of candy and prizes in the pirate's cove, recreation staff members are requesting donations of unopened bags of candy and small prize donations like temporary tattoos or novelties. Interested contributors should call 614-342-4250.
Children visiting Creepside will enjoy the G-rated Trick-or-Treat Trail on Mill Street as local vendors distribute candy and the Not-so-Scary Trail on Creekside Island.
Children can win prizes in the PG-rated pirate's cove (lagoon area), enjoy Mad Science hands-on slime and have fun listening to the band, Endless Recess, on the Rotary Stage while participating in Halloween-themed Minute-to-Win-It activities.
Teenagers looking for more of a scare should check out the return of the PG-13-rated Haunted Maze, presented by the Gahanna Lincoln High School performance studio class.
The young thespians have selected a prison theme, and they will develop the maze scene design and write the script.
"This project provides real-life learning for my students," said Cindi Macioce, GLHS drama director.
Live music will add to the festive atmosphere throughout the district while the Mifflin Township Fire Department will be on hand to promote smoke and fire safety. The YMCA interactive school bus will provide additional entertainment.
Public parking will be available in the parking garage on Mill Street and various public parking lots throughout the Olde Gahanna area. No parking will be permitted on Mill Street. between Granville Street and Walnut Street. after 2 p.m.
Mill Street will be closed from Granville Street to Walnut Street from 2 to 10 p.m.
The Creepside Festival will be held rain or shine.