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October 26, 2021

Soledad’s Spook Fest 2020 offers safe and fun Halloween

Alternative festivity includes drive-thru parade and contests

SOLEDAD — Spook Fest 2020, a Halloween celebration in Soledad, is planned for Oct. 31 with multiple components, including a drive-through parade as well as virtual and no-contact contests.

“The aim of the event is to give residents, especially children, a fun and safe holiday,” said Maria Ruiz-Corralejo, one of the organizers. “We hope the variety of contests and parade provide an opportunity for families and individuals to showcase their creativity.”

This year’s contests include best dog costume, spooktacular house decoration, kids costume and best car contest.

While the contests have deadlines before Halloween, the parade will be open for any to attend. Local residents and businesses are encouraged to decorate their cars, trucks, or floats and meet at the Visitor’s Center at 6 p.m. to line up and be part of the parade.

Spook Fest 2020 is planned as a no-contact event due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with Halloween safety guidelines from the county and state being followed.

The parade route has yet to be finalized, but Ruiz-Corralejo said the route will run through streets in town that provide free parking and space for those who wish to sit in their cars to watch the parade pass by. This will keep from congregating groups along a main street parade course.

The entire event was organized with the impacts of Covid-19 in mind, Ruiz-Corralejo noted. Everything the group has planned has been in conjunction with CDC and local guidelines.

“The Monterey County Health Department Facebook page shared our event flyer and commended us on providing a safe alternative for the Soledad community,” Ruiz-Corralejo said. “We also met with the City of Soledad and police department heads to ensure our event was within city guidelines.”

Ruiz-Corralejo and her husband, Frank Corralejo, have been organizing Spook Fest 2020 through their Front Street page on Facebook.

“We saw a need for our community to have a safe Halloween celebration option,” Ruiz-Corralejo said. “We also acknowledged the need for a community and individual connection at a time when some may feel isolated. Due to the magnitude of this event, we have reached out to individuals, businesses and agencies to participate, sponsor or volunteer.”

According to Ruiz-Corralejo, so far the group has received help from: Soledad Police Department, Pinnacles Real Estate Group, Pawsitively Clean Pet Solutions, Ivan Ibarra, Alejandro Chavez, Rotary Club, Soledad Youth Council, Soledad High School Interact Club, Soledad High School ASB, Mayor Fred Ledesma and F&M Auto Repair.

Since organization has taken place online, Ruiz-Corralejo said it’s not possible to gauge how many people will attend, though she said response has been good over Facebook. The last event to be added to the overall offerings is a virtual kids costume contest, which Ruiz-Corralejo said will have details coming this week.

All the contests will have prizes, which are being determined depending on sponsorships for different contests.

Contest information, deadlines and volunteer opportunities to help can be found at facebook.com/spookfest2020.

Sean Roney
Sean Roney is the reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.

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