Costumed Cliftonites Parade Despite Rain
As the air gets cooler and the leaves turn all shades of red, orange, and yellow, the Clifton Recreation Department again hosted its annual Harvest Fest, where children and adults alike dressed up with their Halloween spirit and enjoyed costume contests, arts and crafts, and much more. Despite the rainy day, the Harvest Festival was the place to be.
Starting around noon and lasting until 3:30 PM, the Harvest Festival had a variety of activities planned like arts and crafts, carnival rides, and games. Unfortunately, forecasted rain meant that the event had to be moved indoors to the Clifton High School gymnasium. This meant that some activities, like the hayride and carnival rides, were canceled. However, the Clifton High School Key Club and other volunteers were still able to keep a majority of the smaller-scale games and experiences to make the event a memorable and fun experience.
To start the event off, the CHS Marching Band riled up the audience with classic songs including "Barbie Girl," "Take On Me," and some of their more typical marching band tunes. Each of the instrument groups had matching outfits like secret spies, Barbie dolls, famous monuments, etc. The band's costumes were judged separately from the community costume contest, with the Famous Structures All Around the World winning first place.
After an entertaining performance from the costumed CHS Marching Band, the community contest got underway. Participants split into different sections of the bleachers by age group and took turns marching around the gymnasium, showing off their costumes to the audience and judges. There were several trophy-winners in each category and all participants received a small prize. Below are some of the winners. Be sure to check the photo gallery and the end of this article for many more pictures!
The gym entrance was decorated with fall scarecrows and hay bales and as you entered the gymnasium, you could see an assortment of different games and activities like bowling, large Tic Tac Toe boards, etc. Apple Dunk, with CHS students Jenna Alnatur and David Feliciano, was a fun autumnal game where players tossed apples from a bucket into a basket tower in hopes of winning a prize.
Another game was the Mouse Trap with Alara Cinar and Kamil Labadi, where costumed children concentrated on throwing the mice-decorated bean bags into the cheesy cornhole board. For every win, the player was given a small prize, like a pumpkin-themed slinky or a small witch toy.
If you are more into artistic-oriented activities, the arts and crafts section was right up your alley. With a variety of interesting and creative stations from bracelets to small wooden templates, you could find something to scratch your creative itch. The ceramic crafts station with Karolina Ferrada, Nino Rukhaia, Daniella Jimenez, Julian Sanchez, and Nathaniel Rivera allowed participants to choose from a number of different ceramic “piggy banks” to decorate with various colorful paint markers.
Fashionistas and future designers had fun with Maura Coleman, Samara Monahan, and Dariana Delgado at the bag decoration station. At this station, participants chose different drawstring bags or tote bags with different Halloween-themed designs to color and decorate with markers to take home.
To top it all off, a food truck outside the gymnasium sold delicious foods like empanadas for an incredible taste at a great price. Last but definitely not least, if you wanted a souvenir to remember this special day, many vendors lined the halls, selling artisanal goods like candles, handmade crochet plushies, painted rocks, and much more at prices as low as $5.00. Who wouldn’t want to get an item they will love and support local businesses at the same time?
Clifton bakers brought their A-games to the apple pie contest and the fragrance wafting from the entry area was amazing! This year’s winner was SugaMama’s Kerri Chomsky, with her decadent caramel apple pie (not pictured). You can order one for yourself for Thanksgiving!
Though this year’s Harvest Fest did not go completely according to plan, it was still a unique and exciting experience that brought the Clifton community together to celebrate this spooky season. This amazing experience that was brought indoors at such short notice could not have been done without the Clifton Recreation Department with supervisor Debbie Oliver, the Clifton Key Club, and all of the generous volunteers who took several hours out of their day to help prepare this unique event. The Clifton community appreciates all the work put into this event and can’t wait to see what’s to come this winter!