Fundraising event to reignite Halloween spirit

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The goal of the third annual Boo at the Creek event, Oct. 29, is to reignite the spirit of Halloween in Airdrie while also raising money for the Airdrie Food Bank, according to event organizer Paige Cairns, who created the event in 2015.

“I was just thinking about what Halloween kind of meant to me and what that experience was like when I was a kid and how much it’s changed,” she said.

“There’s so much worry around safety and kids being out alone and all those types of things that we worry about as parents nowadays that maybe people didn’t 30 years ago.”

The event is free and will take place at Nose Creek Park from 1 to 4 p.m., allowing kids to have a safe Halloween experience during the day.

New to the event this year is a 30-foot bouncy castle obstacle course, eyeball bowling and a pumpkin patch with more than 600 pumpkins for the taking.

The event will also include guest appearances by Awna and Elsa from Frozen, Wonder Woman, Bumblebee from Transformers and Paw Patrol. There will be an abundance of candy for kids to collect, and there will be craft stations and face painting.

The event is sponsored by local businesses and has gained popularity since its inception. Last year’s event saw 1,500 people in attendance and raised $4,500 for the Airdrie Food Bank, Cairns said, adding she was “floored” by the support.

“This year we’re expecting even more,” she said, adding non-perishable food items will be accepted along with monetary donations for the food bank.

“I chose the Airdrie Food Bank because I’m extremely aware of how close many people are to having to access that service at any given point in their life,” she said. “I don’t know if everyone always recognizes that, but it’s something that any of us could need at any time…. It takes a can of food to help build their shelves.”

The event is weather dependent. Kids are encouraged to dress in Halloween costumes and prizes will be awarded to parents dressed in their best Halloween gear, Cairns said.

“I think it’s such a great opportunity to come together as a community and celebrate a holiday that I love and give back at the same time,” she said. “And I love that it’s free. There’s so many kids that don’t get to experience things because of finances and so to have an event that’s free of charge to families is something that I’m super proud of.”

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