Kids and their parents enthused with Halloween spirit packed University Yard and the Mount Vernon quad on Saturday for the fourth annual Kidsfest, sponsored by Neighbors Project and the Residence Hall Association.
About 150 children attended the events including some GW faculty and their children, organizers said. Entertainments included face painting, cookie decorating, a cakewalk and a magician.
“Neighbors Project is a way for GW to give back to the community – we send students out into the community, but Kidsfest brings the community here,” said Jessica Stellenwerf, the Neighbors Project Service Coordinator.
Foggy Bottom was home to 25 booths manned by various hall councils and student organizations. The Mount Vernon Campus had eight booths and a Witch’s Kitchen as well as a Polaroid station where kids could be photographed in their costumes. A haunted shuttle transported kids and parents between the two campuses.
In total, 26 student organizations sponsored booths and 60 volunteers made the day possible, Stellenwerf said. Kidsfest was a part of the University’s Make a Difference Day service program and was aimed at D.C area families with kids ages 2 through 12.
The Neighbors Project advertises the event to community partners, including local non-profit organizations, to get their name out in the D.C. area.
KidsFest relies on volunteers from across campus. Members of Greek-letter organizations, hall councils and other service programs volunteered throughout the day.
Magician David Morey of Morey Magic Group, was also a volunteer. Morey performed magic tricks for children on the Foggy Bottom campus for a second year at KidsFest.
“I love performing for kids because that’s where the real magic is,” he said.
Fraternity and sorority members also helped volunteer.
Freshman Johnny Valentine, a pledge at Beta Theta Pi, worked the fraternity’s pirate hat-making booth. Valentine said that even though the event was optional for members, he was still excited to do it.
“I love this kind of stuff, it’s great to make kids happy,” he said. Sophomore Stan Marquez worked at the event with Jumpstart, an outreach program to kids in the District.
“I knew about KidsFest through my work with Jumpstart and knew it would be a good chance to get involved,” he said.
Erika Asgeirsson, a sophomore, worked a Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Cat booth at Foggy Bottom.
“It’s nice to give kids a cool Halloween-a lot of these kids might not be able to do something like this for Halloween if we didn’t do (KidsFest) here,” she said.
The Mount Vernon express shuttle between the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon was converting into a “haunted” shuttle ride, complete with cobwebs, spiders and ghost decorations for the event.