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Soaked crowd enjoys Halloween festival
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Fortune teller Terry Pellegrini had children pull cards in which to read their fortune at the city sponsored Halloween festival at the Ceres Community Center. Here Adrian and Sophia Boyso partake with their mother, Araceli Sanchez. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier photo

A rare rain swept through the Valley on Halloween night, forcing most trick-or-treaters to abandon their door to door search for candy and head to the Ceres Community Center where the city held its Halloween Safety Fun Festival.

"We're the only game in town," said Ceres Police Lt. Rick Collins who is in charge of the operation of the center.

The rains caused the city to abandon the FFA petting zoo, parking lot tricycle races, and tram ride to the haunted vista of the Clinton Whitmore Mansion a block away.

"It went great considering that we had more people in the building than ever before," said Traci Farris, a recreation supervisor with the city. "The phones were pretty much ringing all day with people wanting to know if our event was going on as planned."

About 35 volunteers mostly from high school helped the city pull off the event, which featured activities in the different rooms. Offered were crafts, a costume contest, games, Halloween photo booth, dance instruction by Steps Dance Studio, a science room, a fake tattoo parlor, storytelling, fortune telling and face painting.

Farris said some of the rooms were crowded but the Community Center never reached capacity because just as many were leaving as were coming.

Some of the youngsters were disappointed there was no candy - except to the contest winners - at the event. Farris said candy was dropped when the event was moved years ago from Smyrna Park to the center because of the mess it made and because the event budget of $1,000 didn't have room for candy.