Southfield gears up for Boo Bash

Other holiday events also in the works

By: Andy Kozlowski | Southfield Sun | Published October 26, 2022


SOUTHFIELD — The Halloween festivities kick off early in Southfield this year with Boo Bash, set for 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Southfield Pavilion, 26000 Evergreen Road.

There will be games, hayrides, crafts, a live performer and trick-or-treating. The hayrides will travel to the Civic Center Park Picnic Shelter for cider and doughnuts, departing from the Southfield Parks and Recreation Building until 3:30 p.m. Admission costs $5 per person for Southfield residents, and $10 per person for nonresidents. Attendees are encouraged to come in costume.

It’s part of a long-running tradition in the city of Southfield. While the first Boo Bash was in 2016 and has been held four times since, the city has held other Halloween events well before then.

Holly Graves, the city’s youth recreation coordinator, organizes the Boo Bash. She first joined the Southfield Parks and Recreation Department in 1997. She recalled how back then, the city’s Halloween event was held indoors at the Southfield Pavilion, called Lunch with the Great Pumpkin.

In 2005, the city decided to try something different, moving the event outdoors to Burgh Historical Park where it was rebranded Boo at the Burgh. Graves said it was “an amazing event” but heavily dependent on the weather, so the event moved back indoors in 2016, which is how Boo Bash came to be. The pandemic prevented indoor festivities in 2020 and 2021, however.

For this year’s event, one highlight will be Guy Louis, also known as “The Friendly Dracula.” He will hold two interactive shows, one at 1:30 p.m. and another at 3 p.m. Louis hails from the east side of Detroit and has been performing children’s musical shows for more than 20 years.

“The children love him,” Graves said in an email. “He is very engaging, and will have them all up dancing and singing. He plays instruments, dances and sings the entire show.”

The Boo Bash will feature activities like a bat craft, pirate keychains and coloring pages, as well as Halloween-themed games like Mummy Bowling, Skeleton Toss and Ring the Witch Hat. But the biggest draw for the kids might be Trick or Treat Street, where children visit sponsor stations for treats and giveaways. There will also be a raffle for a Squishmallow plush toy based on the Tim Burton film, “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” where each attendee will have a chance to win one of six different Squishmallow figures.   

Many groups help make Boo Bash happen, including the city’s police and fire departments, the public library, Oakland County Families Against Narcotics, Fortson Dental, Safe Splash Swim School, The Best Braces, RJ Logistics, Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Metro Detroit Youth Clubs, and more. Many sponsor stations at the Trick or Treat Street. Funding for the event comes primarily from admission fees.

Another Halloween event will be on Oct. 30, the day before Halloween. The Southfield police will host their Trunk or Treat event in the police station courtyard, also at 26000 Evergreen Road. Parking will be available in the north lot adjacent to the library and the parks and recreation building.

“Participants will also be given an opportunity to check out the (police) vehicles, while children get a treat from each one, along with important safety information for parents,” said Michael Manion, the city’s community relations director, via email, noting that the event will relocate to the Southfield Pavilion in the event of rain.

Of course, Halloween is only the start of the greater holiday season, and Southfield has plans for other events too. Southfield will ring in the Christmas season with its Holiday Tree Lighting 5:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6 in front of Southfield City Hall, also at 26000 Evergreen Road. Attendees there can look forward to live reindeer, ice carving, dancers, refreshments, and a visit from Santa Claus himself.

On Saturday, Dec. 10, Southfield will hold its Soulful Santa event noon-5 p.m. at the Southfield Pavilion, featuring photo ops with a Black Santa, plus a vendor marketplace, hot chocolate, crafts, photo booths, a magician, dancers and more. It’s all in keeping with the city’s focus on community events, such as the Kimmie Horne Jazz Festival that was held in August.

“We have worked really hard to make sure that our programs are enjoyable and safe for all,” Graves said.

For the Boo Bash, there must be one adult present per family for this event. Each person attending must purchase a ticket. Tickets are available online at, or at the parks and recreation information window at the Southfield Pavilion 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays. Limited tickets will also be available for purchase at the door on the day of the event.

For more information, call the Parks and Recreation Department at (248) 796-4620 or visit