Frighteningly good fun: Halloween Jambooree at Logan Farm Park brings community together


Ashu Ebot-Tabi

Patrons of the festival line up for a football tossing game for prizes, one of the various activities available; others include sack and horseshoe tosses, a hayride along the walking area, posing for pictures in a fake graveyard, and ring toss. Organized mainly by the Acworth Parks and Recreation Department, the Jambooree of this year continues the tradition of a city organized festival first set in 2011 with the first Jambooree.

Ashu Ebot-Tabi, Reporter

The annual Acworth Halloween Jambooree took place at Logan Farm Park this past Saturday, October 27. Held every year during the backend of October, the Jambooree serves as the primary Halloween festival for those living in the Acworth-Kennesaw area. Attendees of the event could participate in a wide array of activities, including a hayride along the park trail, bottle and football toss games, or a mini petting zoo. As with most events taking place in the city of Acworth, various local organizations sponsor booths of their own promoting their brand, all the while helping out with the intricacies of the festival, like the deejaying, selling of concessions, and setting up carnival rides later on in during the night.

Just like with the Taste of Acworth and other large events in town, the Acworth Parks and Recreation Department served as the group to spearhead this hoopla. With over two hundred people in attendance, one would assume that they resulted from years of understanding what activities, foods, and events entice or dissuade prospective visitors; however, the historical event evades any websites or archives from local papers. Regardless, the Department seems to at least know why an event like the Jambooree maintains importance.

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Participants of the 5:00 to 5:15 family costume contest line up before judges & viewers alike, so as to determine a victor family. The costumes, starting left from the first row down: The Incredibles, Pennywise, Harley Quinn, Lumberjacks (middle in plaid shirt with hat), Heihei from Moana, a Wild Thing, and royalty, (wearing crown) Spider-Man (in man’s arm) and Venoms*, Batman and Black Panther, Mario and Luigi, Harley Quinn, ninja, and Cleopatra, Harley Quinn and the Joker, and pirate and Spider-Man alongside a fireman.

“I am not exactly sure how long we’ve been doing this event; I’ve been with the city [of Acworth] seven years, and we’ve always done it. In our department, we always look for…gaps in our community, and there really isn’t any kind of Halloween festival, so we wanted to do…that for the kids. We wanted to do it as kind of a carnival, where you can have activities and games and prizes,” Recreation Coordinator Michelle Berryman said.

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Attendees of the Jambooree flock at the petting zoo to interact with the animals.Provided by Cricket’s Mobile Petting Zoo, this activity proved the most popular during the festival, among both the adults, but especially the youth under 7. The animals proved for cuddling included chickens, roosters, piglets, bunnies, sheep, and pygmy goats.

As mentioned earlier, the event played host to a variety of activities, all of which served as suitable pull factors for those on the fence about attending; the costliness of the event especially (or the lack thereof) helped to motivate people to visit, and while money may serve as the perennial motivator for human actions, no factor held more influence over the others, or at least not so in the eyes of Acworth Parks and Recreation.

“I would think that one thing that would draw you out is the cost; what we do is, it’s five dollars for 15 tickets, which is pretty much every game. We usually have a petting zoo, which is free, and the hayride, which is free. We also do the costume contest, which is free and always partner with community sponsors each year. They have a lot of activities which are free: so if you’re looking for something that’s very cost effective, where you don’t have to pay a lot to get in, this is the perfect event,” Berryman said.

For those in attendance, the costume contest drew the most attention with the abundance of adorable children sharing their best impressions of characters and famous people. Starting at 4 p.m. and ending at 7 p.m., the contest allowed attending children to show off their costume to the crowd, with the first one held at 4 p.m. for boys under three years old drawing the largest of crowds. The work put into the costume of two year old winner Roddy Gregory, who dressed as a plate of spaghetti and meatballs, won the contest.

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Winner of the Boys Under Three costume competition, Roddy Gregory, alongside his older sister Marie (not pictured) bask in the spoils of his victory. Unlike those of his competitors, this pleasing plat of preciousness did not come from a costume store, but instead from the hard work and creativity of his loved ones.

“[It feels] pretty good. A lot of hard work went into making the costume. We handmade it ourselves [from] yarn, and then got a t-shirt and a dollar store platter. This wasn’t always the costume we planned to use, we kind of decided to make it at the beginning of October; he will be wearing this for Halloween. When I was younger, I used to do the contest a lot and my mom enjoyed making the costumes for me, so we thought we’d do it for my brother,” sister of Roddy Gregory, Marie Axtell said.

In terms of participant size, however, the family costume contest (unsurprisingly) ranked supreme. As per the rules, at least two people needed to wear costumes to qualify for the prize. Competition seemed extremely stiff, with all costumes oozing with craftsmanship and passion, as well as a great diversity of character impressions. Taking inspiration from the film Venom, this victory marks a first in the Green family, or rather two firsts: their first costume contest participated in and the first with their newborn daughter.

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Held from 4:00 to 4:15 P.M., the Boys Under 3 costume contest drew far and away the largest crowd in the event–mostly family members. The costumes, from left to right: Robin from DC Comics, a fireman, Jack-Jack from The Incredibles, Sully from Monsters, Inc., (behind boy dressed as Sully) a train conductor, a lumberjack, Daniel Tiger from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Superman from DC Comics, Super Why from the eponymous show, a plate of spaghetti & meatballs*, Jack-Jack, TBD character from TBD show, a princess, and a duck.

“It feels awesome. It’s our first ever costume contest. We tried to do matching outfits before: we did It last year, and skeletons the year before. This is our daughter’s first Halloween, so we were excited about having a new addition to the family and having her do a Halloween costume with us. We had actually planned to do unicorns this year, but then [we] saw so many unicorns and felt like it wasn’t very original, and [we] try to be creative every Halloween so [we] wanted to do something that took a little bit of effort and time; it took us two hours to do the makeup. We took our son to see Venom, and that inspired us to do the makeup. We don’t plan to wear this for Halloween: we might do the unicorn instead,” the Green family said.

The Jambooree, may lack the recognition other city sponsored festivals like Taste of Acworth or 4th of July Festivals, still proved itself an enjoyable time for all those attending. The activities held attention, the food satisfied, and the general atmosphere, contrary to the eerie vibes of this season, brought about a warmth enjoyed by all.