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Halloween Festival to move to downtown Ceres
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For decades the city of Ceres has held its annual Halloween Safety Fun Festival at Smyrna Park. But this year the event is being moved to the new Ceres Community Center.

From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. the Halloween Festival, the Ceres Community Center is site for free carnival games, a costume contest, crafts, face painting, petting zoo, science fun, entertainment, haunted courtyard, spooky story time, and carriage rides down Fourth Street.

Members of the Ceres Senior Citizens Club will be handing out punch and popcorn in the parking of the center.

The Friend of the Turlock Animal Shelter will bring out a pet adoption trailer for cat and dog adoptions, said Cambria Pollinger, the city's recreation coordinator.

The Ceres Youth Commission will be working as a group on an activity booth as will the S Club, and Criminal Justice class from Ceres High School. Dance teams from both Central Valley and Ceres High dance teams will perform at the center.

A 1,000-bale hay maze will be provided behind the Ceres Partnership for Healthy Children office at the corner of Fourth and North streets courtesy of Resendiz Farms.

Some Fourth Street businesses have volunteered to stay open and give out candy during the two-hour event.

"The idea to move it from the park to the Community Center was to kind of spark donwtown interest as well, to incorporate businesses on Fourth Street and trying to get people downtown," said Pollinger.

The city estimates that between 1,000 to 1,200 children have attended past festivals during the two-hour run.

"The center is all activity based," she said. "It'll be a test run as far as so many people in the bulding at one time."

The city is also hosting a Kids Halloween Cooking Class on Thursday, Oct. 29, at 5:30 p.m. Cost is $10.

Other events

At Modesto Junior College's West Campus, the fifth annual Halloween Carnival and Haunted House will be offered from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m on Friday, the evening before Halloween. The campus is located at 2201 Blue Gum Avenue in Modesto.

Admission to the carnival is free and the event is family-oriented and open to the public. There will be movies, games, face painting, pumpkin decorating, food, juggling, trick-or-treating, a haunted house and a costume contest for all ages. Family appropriate costumes are requested.

While some activities are free, admission to the Haunted House and playing some of the games will require 1-3 tickets to participate. Tickets will be sold for $1 each or 25 tickets for $20. For additional information call 575-7992.