Halloween Hoopla kicks up spooky fun factor this month

By: Joshua Gordon | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published October 18, 2017

 The Macomb Township Parks and Recreation Department is expecting around 700 people to attend and dress up for the annual Halloween Hoopla event Oct. 20 at the Recreation Center.

The Macomb Township Parks and Recreation Department is expecting around 700 people to attend and dress up for the annual Halloween Hoopla event Oct. 20 at the Recreation Center.

Photo provided by Michelle Duda

 The Halloween Hoopla has activities for people of all ages, from a haunted locker room to a magic show and trick-or-treating.

The Halloween Hoopla has activities for people of all ages, from a haunted locker room to a magic show and trick-or-treating.

Photo provided by Michelle Duda

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — When the Macomb Township Parks and Recreation Department wants to scare people, it wants to scare them right, which is why the annual Halloween Hoopla has spooks and frights for all age groups.

The annual event, which has been going on for over 20 years, returns to the Recreation Center at 6 p.m. Oct. 20. Michelle Duda, a recreation programmer, said the event is already sold out. The organizers are expecting around 700 people to attend.

“We promote the event as a kooky, spooky, delightful, frightful family fun costume party, but family friendly is very important to us,” Duda said. “We do have a slightly creepy experience for older kids. All other features of the party are very appropriate for kids of all ages.”

The Halloween Hoopla moved to the Recreation Center in 2007, which brought with it the new name. The event provides more than a dozen activities and nearly everyone who attends dresses up in a costume.

The trick-or-treat trail is a big hit, Duda said, as kids can collect goodies from nearly 35 area businesses who set up shop at the event.

Family-friendly events include the craft boo-tique, where children can make Halloween-themed crafts, and the Addams Family portrait studio that provides professional family photos in front of a haunted house backdrop.

Party-goers will be able to get their hair and nails done in a Halloween manner at the freak hair salon and spa, while Monster Studio 54 provides a dance club atmosphere with popular kids music.

For older kids, there is a haunted locker room experience, which Duda did not want to reveal too many details about, and a magic show will be set up from comedic magician Jason Magic, who will perform three shows throughout the night.

New this year is a silly spooky science lab and a tea party castle with a witch. Along with a gym full of inflatables and games, Duda said they cap the event at a certain number of tickets each year to make sure the event stays fun for everyone who attends.

“We cap the party at approximately 700, which is a very comfortable number so we can avoid long lines and crowded conditions,” she said.

Duda said money raised from the event covers the expenses of the Halloween Hoopla and leftover money goes into the department’s general account to offset other free events throughout the year.

Tickets were $5 for Macomb Township residents and $10 for non-residents. Recreation Director Sal DiCaro said it is important to offer affordable family activities for residents throughout the year, and the Halloween Hoopla has been a hit for more than two decades.

“This is a great way to build community and is very popular, being sold out weeks before the event,” DiCaro said. “For us, this helps kick off the fall activities and with a Halloween event, it gets us into the holidays.”

Duda said there are families who have been coming to the event for years and it has become a tradition not only for the recreation department, but for residents.

“Our Halloween Hoopla is one of (our) signature events that we are very proud of,” she said. “We are happy to be part of people’s family traditions. We do have a reputation for throwing fun parties (and) we always strive to never disappoint.”