|If you are interested in volunteering or helping in any way, you can contact Apartment Life at 491-4755.|
Candy, costumes and crafts – all part of the tradition of the annual Halloween Children's Carnival, coming up this Saturday at the Durrell Center.
The event, sponsored by Apartment Life, is done each year as a way to connect the international students, as well as those with families, to CSU.
"About 60 percent of Apartment Life is international students," said Jennifer Christ, central programming coordinator for Apartment Life. "To help the international process, we put on this program to help them learn about U.S. culture."
The event will take place in the lower level of Durrell, where one room will be set up with stations for crafts and games.
"One room will have six different crafts that relate to Halloween," Christ said. "We also have eight different games where children can participate and get prizes with things like pumpkin bowling and ring toss."
The other room will be turned into a haunted house, but will be aimed at all age groups.
"The 'friendly' part of the haunted house comes first, and it's not so scary to the little ones; it's based on fairy tales," Christ said. "The section for the older children has more things pop out, but there is an exit between the two tours."
Christian Hermans, post-doctorate fellow in the biology department, designed the haunted house and found his inspiration from rides in the Disney amusement parks.
"I, personally, am a Disney fan and was fortunate enough to visit Disneyland, Disney World and Disneyland Paris," Hermans wrote in an e-mail interview. "[In the haunted house] we will ask for the involvement of our young heroes in the first part. They will have the opportunity to interact with their favourite villain characters: to sign a contract with the sea witch or to taste apples offered by the wicked witch. The scary part is more teenagers oriented and will be ghoulishly frightening! Without spoiling the surprise, there will be numerous ghosts, spectres and visual effects."
The program is being sponsored entirely by Apartment Life, but with some donations.
"We got three carts of pumpkins from the Grant Family Farm," said Jessica Gu, central programmer of Apartment Life.
Besides the pumpkins, the carnival will also be receiving some help from the CSU chapter of the Mortar Board, a national honor society focusing on college seniors' achievement in leadership and service.
"We received some money from the Mortar Board and they [sent over] four volunteers as well," Christ said.
The materials for the haunted house and the other decorations will come from University Village, a part of Apartment Life, and Hermans himself.
"I am the program enhancer at University Village. Therefore, I conceive numerous decorations and displays for large scale programs (Knowing the World series, Flower Fair, Holiday Season, … and Halloween)," Hermans said. "We organize a Halloween party the day before. Most of the elements will come from there and from my personal costume collection. The budget for the event allowed us to buy paints, fabrics and accessories."
Although there is some help from those connected with Apartment Life and the Mortar Board, there is still space for those who wish to help.
"We need about 30 volunteers for the set up and in the afternoon we need 13 to help in a game or craft booth," Christ said. "We also need 13 to be in the haunted house, and most of the costumes will be provided."
Not only will this be a fun event for those children participating, but also for those students who have never celebrated Halloween before.
"This is my first year in America. In China, we have no Halloween festival. However, we do have Ghost Festival," Gu said. "That day, everybody goes home very early, and it's said that if the ghosts find you, they will fly into your body and you will die. So it is the reason why I think the Halloween is funny. I will touch a totally different culture."