Throw on your Halloween costume and head over Thursday, Oct 28, to Frederick Community College for the annual Halloween Celebration. The celebration is free at FCC’s Student Center.
A long-standing tradition at FCC, the celebration has been held every year for as long as Kristi Mills, assistant director at the Center for Student Engagement and the coordinator of the celebration, can remember.
“I have worked in the Center for Student Engagement for 25 years, and we have always had a Halloween celebration,” Mills recalled.
When asked how long it has been since the first celebration, Mills said, “I’ve seen pictures of the costume contests from before I started working there. So I would say at least 30 years.”
Mills has been preparing for the celebration since September.
“Usually, I plan all fall semester events over the summer,” she said. “This year, due to COVID’s changing mandates, I could not plan as early as I would have liked.”
Last year, due to COVID, the celebration was moved online, but this year the celebration will return to campus, bringing with it two new activities.
“This is the first year that we’re doing the pumpkin painting and zombie stuffing,” said Mills.
From 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., or as long as supplies last, anyone can come to the Student Center lobby and partake in zombie stuffing and pumpkin painting.
For zombie stuffing, Mills said that anyone can come to the Student Center lobby and “make their own zombie plush toy” from provided materials.
Mills added, “For pumpkin painting, we have small pumpkins, and we’re providing acrylic paints and paintbrushes and supplies like paper plates and towels to clean off the brushes.” Anyone can “come down and sit down at the table and paint them however they want, and then they can take them home with them.”
“I couldn’t do carving,” Mills said with a laugh. “That would have been too messy and there would have been knives and stuff, so we decided we would do painting.”
At noon, a costume contest will be held at the Cougar Grille. Prizes will be awarded to the top three student costumes and the best group staff costumes. The staff from the bookstore will judge the contest. Gift certificates to the FCC Bookstore — 1st place $30, 2nd place $20, and 3d place $15 — will be awarded to the voted best costumes.
“The judges basically decide which three costumes they believe are the best,” Mills said. “We don’t have categories or anything.”
Anyone dressed in a Halloween costume can stop at the Center for Student Engagement, H101, will receive a lunch voucher good for up to $10 in the Cougar Grille. Vouchers are only valid for Oct. 28, 2021, only. And pick up a free Halloween rubber duck as well.
Mills added the costumes have “a wide variety. It’s not like you can put them in categories.”
“Sometimes there are zombies or characters from movies,” Mills said. “The staff get really creative. Like one time our admissions office, they did people on a roller coaster so it looked like they were all in seats and they were going around with their hands in the air. Sometimes the math department does some really cool stuff with numbers and stuff. With the students, it really varies. There are a lot of movie things. Sometimes they’re like the characters in games, like when they do cosplays and that kind of stuff. Then there’s traditional like angels or demons that kind of thing. It’s really a gamut.”
Mills believes the variety in the costume contest is what attendees look forward to the most.
“People who attend the contest look forward to seeing how creative the costumes will be,” she said.
Mills said it’s about enjoying the event.
“This event is totally about having fun and building community on campus,” Mills said. “This is the first semester in over a year that I’ve been able to plan in-person events for our students. I want them to have fun while they are at FCC.”