Think of the Best Halloween From Your Childhood
Keen Halloween cast its adorably spooky shadow on the Phoenix Convention Center the weekend of September 24-25, and attendees were left with a sense of fun, creativity and family inclusiveness. After a hiatus of two years, the slick reboot put together by Square Egg Entertainment gave the impression that it would continue this new tradition, and give Phoenix an opportunity to “celebrate Halloween twice this year.”
Founded by Daniel and Dawna Davis, the creators of Steam Crow, the ambition was to bridge the gap between the blood-soaked horror and the twee, “kiddie” aspect of the holiday. This effort proved successful, resulting in an idealized environment depicting a vintage Halloween that never-quite-was.
The exhibitor hall contained many local artists and artisans vending unique, one-of-a-kind items including costume pieces, face painting, jewelry, décor, art, and books. Featured guests Fallen Feathers had some of their rescue birds visiting for photo ops, and the author of Skeleton in the Closet hosted readings for young ghouls and goblins.
Also in the exhibitor hall was the demonstration table where anyone could participate in crafting how-tos. Some of the offerings involved pumpkin carving, decorations, and creating special effects like the Phoenix Ghostbusters’ offering, ecto-slime.
Panels were varied: ghost stories, debates of good monsters versus bad, ghost hunting, haunted histories, and advice on decoration and costumes. Kids were encouraged to trick or treat at the guest and vendor tables as well.
Both days offered costume contests for participants of all ages. Prizes were given out for originality, humor, and best achieving the spirit of the Keen Halloween theme, “Welcome to Castle Transylvania.” A wonderful mix of entries inspired lots of applause and laughs where appropriate. The audience on the second day of the contest frequently chanted “Stab him! Stab him!” when a hatchet or knife-wielding character got too close to the announcer.
All in all, Keen Halloween was a delightful event and much recommended for all ages. There is truly something for everyone and at around $25-30 for the entire weekend, the price is right.