Noe Valley Voice October 1999

Noe Gets in the Spirit of Halloween

By Pat Rose

The month of goblins and ghosts, candy and costumes, is upon us. When it comes to Halloween and kids, there's no better place than Noe Valley.

On Saturday, Oct. 9, the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association will kick off the celebration with a free old-fashioned hayride down 24th Street. The horsedrawn wagon will pick up riders at Walgreen's at Castro and 24th, and trot them around town from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Passengers will be driven down 24th Street to Vicksburg, south on Vicksburg to Jersey, then back up to Walgreen's. The hayride is part of the Merchants' annual sidewalk sale, also on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Also on Oct. 9, the Randall Museum will host its free annual "Bat Day" from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Children are invited to make bat masks, play bat games, create bat mobiles and puppets, and even dress up like bats and hang upside down! Live bats as well as bat experts will be on hand to explain how bats live, grow, and behave. Bat stories for younger children will be presented by children's book author Caroline Arnold, at 11 and 11:30 a.m. For older kids, Patricia Winters of the California Bat Conservation Fund will give a slide show at 1 p.m., titled "Wings in the Night." The Randall Museum is located at 199 Museum Way, off Roosevelt, above Castro Street. For more information call 554-9600.

Next, the Upper Noe Recreation Center, at the corner of Day and Sanchez streets, will host a Halloween Carnival on Friday, Oct. 29, from 3 to 6 p.m. The carnival, recommended for kids 5 and over, will include games and prizes, a special children's play called "Witches Brew," and a costume parade. Cookies and apple cider will be served. Admission is free. For more information, contact program director Chris Borg at 695-5011.

On Oct. 30, the Randall Museum will hold its annual Family Halloween Fest from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring creepy crafts, ghoulish games, face painting, and pumpkin carving, plus a special music performance by longtime Bay Area favorite Bonnie Lockhart. Kids ages 2 to 12 and their families are invited to check out "Dr. Randallstein's Laboratory," "Animals of the Night," and "The Bone Room." Admission is free, but some activities charge 50 cents to $1.

On Sunday, Oct. 31, the official Halloween, Noe Valley merchants on 24th Street will welcome trick-or-treaters during the day. According to Carol Yenne, owner of Small Frys, most stores will stay open for kids until 6 p.m.

At Real Food Company on 24th Street, kids 12 and under are invited to participate in the fourth annual Halloween Costume Contest. According to store manager Ron Wilson, witches, ghosts, and goblins can have their picture taken and get a healthy treat. The winners for funniest, scariest, and most original costumes will be posted in the store window the following week.

Church Street merchants in Upper Noe will also welcome trick-or-treaters on Sunday. The One Stop Party Shop at Church and 28th, which boasts one of the scariest storefronts in the neighborhood, will be full of ghouls handing out treats until 10 p.m. Tom Maravilla of Mikeytom Market at Church and Day will be in the spirit all day on Halloween, giving out treats until the store closes at 8 p.m.

One sad note this year, Marilyn Lucas -- the "Haunted House Lady" of Hoffman Avenue for nearly two decades -- is sitting this Halloween out. "I've decided to retire from the haunted house," says Lucas, "and spend Halloween with my newborn granddaughter." Congratulations to Lucas, and thanks for all the wonderful Halloween memories.