By Sam Skopp
On Saturday, Oct. 7, the annual Fall Festival returned to Virginia Avenue Park in Santa Monica. The yearly event, primarily for children, provided a plethora of activities such as pumpkin decorating and “lasso the horse,” while allowing local organizations a chance to meet with the Santa Monica community.
Luke Hayes is a local artist who first became involved with the Fall Festival last year, when he was invited to decorate large pumpkins, in a live painting demonstration. The pumpkins he and other artists painted were then displayed in the window of the Pico Branch library located in the park.
“I’ve been friends with the park for years,” Hayes said. “When they asked me to do some designs on pumpkins I was down.”
Hayes explained that he likes to paint the pumpkins with a variety of art styles, from photorealistic designs to graffiti art characters.
Another annual tradition at the Fall Festival is Santa Monica College’s Glass Sculpture staff and students creating glass pumpkins, which are sold at the festival. Faculty member Terri Bromberg explained that every year, the students and faculty that make the pumpkins experiment with different colors, patterns, techniques, reductions and more to create new, unique pumpkins, which leads to the wide variety available at the festival.
“We’re always experimenting with new combinations,” Bromberg said. “We demonstrate in class at Santa Monica College how the pumpkins are made. Then [students] get to try it during their practice time.”
Other groups and activities included a prize wheel set up by the Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and the Environment, farm animal mask crafts with the reDiscover Center, pumpkin decorating by Familias Latinas Unidas, bilingual children’s music by Nathalia, and more.
For more information about upcoming events at Virginia Avenue Park and other family-friendly spaces around town, visit smgov.net.