Annual Halloween Carnival and benefit to be held in Solana Beach

Costumes are encouraged at the Halloween Carnival, and awards will be given in several categories.

• Festive ‘Ghost by the Coast’ event raises funds for Solana Beach Schools Foundation

Solana Beach’s 57th annual Halloween Carnival will be held from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26, at Solana Vista Elementary School, 780 Santa Victoria.

The Halloween Carnival features a wonderful array of games, activities and performances for children of all ages. Proceeds benefit the Solana Beach Schools Foundation and provide essential funding for science, technology, art and PE classes at Solana Vista and Skyline elementary schools.

The very first Carnival was held on Halloween night in 1957 at Central School on Rios Avenue. “We wanted to keep the kids off the street on Halloween night,” said Joan Eichen, one of the original Carnival volunteers. That Carnival had a Cake Walk and a Haunted House, still favorites today.

Although the Carnival has expanded over the decades, including the addition of a 52-foot obstacle course, giant Human Hamster Balls and a Silly String play area, the spirit that has brought the community together each year since 1957 remains unchanged.

“It’s still a homemade, ‘old school’ carnival, with traditional games and activities,” said Shannon Kearns, one of the Carnival coordinators. “We even use students’ hand-drawn artwork to advertise.”

The Carnival continues to bring the community together year after year with its huge team of volunteer parents, students, teachers, staff and local organizations. SB Little League will be there clocking the Fast Pitch game, Friends of the Library hosts the Treasure Chest booth, SB Soccer Club has the Soccer Kick, TVIA volunteers with the Sling Shot, Boy Scout Pack 782 coordinates the recycling, and the Dad’s Club will be serving treats from their mobile Ice Cream Van.

A live DJ will keep the party going. Everyone is encouraged to come dressed in his or her finest Halloween attire. The Costume Contest will be held at noon. Award categories include Cutest, Funniest, Scariest, Most Original and Best Group. Performances by the YMCA Expressions Dance Team, the All-Star Dance Troup and American Family Martial Arts will follow the Costume Contest.

This year’s hot auction items include a Firewire Dominator Surfboard and a VIP day at Petco Park for four people to attend a Padres game with box seats and reserved parking. Other popular items include front-row seats for the Skyline Talent Show and the sixth-grade graduation ceremony. There are raffle prizes from Surf Ride, North Coast Rep, Jersey Mikes, Mor Furniture and Station Sushi, to name just a few of our generous sponsors.

As always, there will be lots of great food donated by local restaurants, including Local Greens, Chief’s, California Pizza Kitchen, The Fish Market, Pizza Port, Subway, Bangkok Bay Thai, and Tony’s Jacal. Save some room for a few delectable items from the Bake Sale, generously made and donated by Solana Beach families.

All are welcome (minus the family dog). Costumes are not required, but are encouraged. For volunteer and donation opportunities, visit