Mosaic Pomona, a local church, sponsored the Downtown Halloween Getdown at the Thomas Plaza in the Pomona Arts Colony on Sunday night.
The free event featured face painting, popcorn, and games along with a pumpkin decorating booth that let event attendees embellish a medium gourd with pipe cleaners, stickers and paint.
“We wanted to do a family friendly event to serve downtown,” Nathan Neighbour, lead pastor at Mosaic Pomona, said.
Young boys dressed as ghouls and goblins and little girls dressed as princesses and Native Americans roamed the streets.
One boy in particular was dressed as a sadistic chef with a bloody, brain splattered cloak: chopped hands hung from his neck and a plastic cleaver rested in his hand.
A children’s costume parade and contest occurred later in the day and winners received Wal-Mart gift cards.
Loft Beats, Future Collide, The Loft and Vintage Renewals opened their art galleries for early trick-or-treaters.
Loft Beats also had children’s authors read their books aloud while The Loft offered free Halloween pictures in its studio. The photos were taken in front of a brick wall on two old-fashioned chairs next to a staged table with books and candelabra that they could later be found on Facebook.
Many of the kids ran from popular booths to get their face painted by two volunteers and then to decorate a pumpkin with silly pipe cleaner expressions.
“We have a really good turn out,” Debbie Bell, event volunteer, said.
She said the church event took a lot of planning and volunteer work and the church wanted to give the families of Pomona a bonus night of Halloween fun and trick-or-treating.
“We just decided to put this on specifically for downtown,” Neighbour said. “It’s on Sunday because everyone usually has stuff planned for Halloween night.”
Parents such as Pomona resident Tony Huynh took their families to the Downtown Halloween Getdown after hearing about the event through friends, Facebook and the participating art galleries.
“The city is trying to develop it down here, so I would definitely return,” Huynh said.
The Downtown Halloween Getdown ended with an outdoor showing of “The Goonies” under the stars.
Hayley Hulin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.