Linda Vista’s Bayside Community Center back parking lot was turned into a whirlwind of Halloween carnival-type fun and an exciting time for all during its fifth annual Fall Festival on Thursday.
The event, which was hosted by the University of San Diego’s Center for Awareness, Service and Action (CASA), provided a safe alternative for trick-or-treating for hundreds of Linda Vista youth, their families and children from the local YMCA.
Booths run by USD students, student organizations and community volunteers treated diversely costumed children to an array of activities such as face painting, a chance to be wrapped up like a mummy, a Dia De Los Muertos, “Day of the Dead,” coloring station, a Photo Booth for groups to show off their costumes, bowling and, of course, games in which the prize was free candy.
USD students, including those from the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, USD Greek Life, Mortar Board and CASA-affiliated organizations such as Cool Club and student who serve as elementary school tutors in the Linda Vista Academic Club, were dressed in Halloween costumes while running their respective booths.
There were also a few tables devoted to local microfinance businesswomen who were selling handmade jewelry, knit hats, bags and more.
The fall festival served as a great opportunity for the USD campus community to deepen its 30-plus year connection with Bayside. Many of the center’s programs are aided through service work done on site by students, staff and administrators from various departments at USD. The festival held last night, in fact, was originally based on the USD campus, from 1994 to 2008. University office spaces and its residence halls were transformed into a large, safe venue for local costumed children to go trick-or-treating.
Bayside chose to bring the festival concept its site as an opportunity to increase more awareness of its community center. Those at USD understood, but wanted to be sure to maintain its connection to the event and to be able to interact with the Linda Vista community.
Judging by the smiles on the faces of children — and the parents seeing their children happily enjoying their time and their candy — Thursday’s fall festival was a big success.
— Ryan T. Blystone
See more Bayside Fall Festival photos on USD’s Flickr photo album.