Tuesday, 23 October 2012 10:59

Spookerama an integral part of Swift Current’s Halloween

Written by  Jessi Gowan
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For the past 35 years, youth in Swift Current have had a great reason to stay out of trouble on Halloween – the annual Spookerama dances held in two locations within the community.

“We provide a terrific solution for students in the area, with a fun and very safe atmosphere where they can enjoy themselves on Halloween,” explained organizer Mike Kesslar with the Kiwanis Club in Swift Current. “They can go out and let loose with music to dance to, games, prizes, food, and beverages, all at zero cost to them. It's really a great place to have fun.”
The event has continued to attract an average of between 900-1,100 kids over the past five years, making it an incredibly popular Halloween activity for Swift Current's youth. It's especially exciting for middle school students, who are full of anticipation before the event.
“It's really a rite of passage for these kids, when they finally get to the grade when they can go,” Kesslar said. “The high school students get excited about it too, because they can go to the big dance, with the Much Music video dance party.”
For the past ten years, the event has maintained the same format with very little change. They see a great deal of community support, from businesses donating prizes to parents and other non-members who come out and volunteer for the event.
“A lot of these people have been doing it for years, so there is a nice level of consistency and experience there,” Kesslar said. “The level of excitement gets higher all the time, and of course the costumes change along with the way our culture changes.”
Costumes are still a big part of the event, with as many as 90% of the juniors in costumes and between 60-80% of the seniors dressing up. Kesslar noted that very few students end up attending the event without costumes.
“It's really just a lot of the same stuff every year, just a different level of craziness,” he explained. “This project was initially started in an effort to help out the community by giving the young adults something to do apart from going out and breaking a few rules. And it just continues to get more popular.”
Safety is an important consideration for the Kinsmen, who work closely with the RCMP to ensure that all students are secure. The RCMP are present at the event to greet students as they arrive, which helps them continue to build their relationship with the youth in the city.
“We have a lot of projects going on within the community, and it's so nice to see such a tremendous amount of support,” Kesslar said. “People from all over appreciate what we are doing for youth, and they come out as a way to show that support.”
Spookerama will be taking place on Oct. 31 in Swift Current. The junior dance will take place at the Colonel Clifton Centre, from 7-11 p.m. Doors will close at 8 p.m. The senior dance will take place at the Palliser Pavilion, from 8 p.m.-12 a.m. Doors will close at 10 p.m.

Read 26703 times Last modified on Thursday, 25 October 2012 15:17