By Stephanie Yost
Idyllwild Community Center Board President

The Idyllwild Community Center (ICC) will bring Halloween festivities to Hill residents, despite COVID-19 restrictions that limit large in-person gatherings.

Although ICC cannot host its traditional Halloween Carnival in the center of town, it will hold a drive-thru Halloween ‘Car’nival in the parking lot of the Idyllwild Community Playground (located at 54195 Ridgeview Drive). Additionally, ICC will sponsor three online contests for local children in two age groups focusing on writing, drawing and pumpkin carving.

The Halloween ‘Car’nival will be an entertaining drive-thru trick-or-treating experience. Children (and adults) are encouraged to wear costumes and decorate the family car, but everyone must remain in their cars throughout the event.

The playground parking lot will be transformed into a one-way, drive-thru loop with costume-clad volunteers from various local organizations (including ICC, Idyllwild Community Center Auxiliary, Rotary, Young Idyllwild Inc. and others) at multiple “stop” stations handing out candy and prizes to children holding their buckets out of their car windows. The parking lot area will have lots of “spooky” fun decorations and surprises that will surround the cars as they proceed along the ‘Car’nival route.

The Halloween ‘Car’nival will be Saturday, Oct. 31 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Please note that the Idyllwild Community Playground will be closed that day after 2 p.m. to allow for the ‘Car’nival set-up.

In addition to the ‘Car’nival, ICC is sponsoring three online contests for local children in two age groups: ages 9 to 12 and ages 8 and younger. A child may enter all three contests, but they can only submit one entry per contest.

The first is a Halloween-themed writing contest. Submissions must be an original poem, story or essay. The second contest is for original Halloween-themed artwork. Children are invited to portray their favorite Halloween costume or character, real or imagined. The third contest is for pumpkin carving. Children can submit a photo of the pumpkin they carve (with parental help or supervision, of course).

Entries for all three contests will be accepted beginning Oct. 15 and must be submitted via email to no later than midnight, Oct. 30. Winners, who will receive a $25 gift card to their favorite Idyllwild store or restaurant, will be announced in the following week’s Town Crier. All entries must include the child’s first name (only) and age, as well as contact information (email, phone number and P.O. Box) for a parent or guardian.