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Trick-or-Treaters Flock to Halloween Celebration at Calle Real Shopping Center

Family friend events also staged in Santa Barbara and Montecito

Tea in Tiaras owner Karrinne Galle paints a butterfly and cat whiskers on Melanie Alonzo, 4, at the “Halloween Extravaganza” in Goleta. Click to view larger
Tea in Tiaras owner Karrinne Galle paints a butterfly and cat whiskers on Melanie Alonzo, 4, at the “Halloween Extravaganza” in Goleta. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

Locals who were looking for a Halloween celebration that was less scary and more merry visited a family friendly event Monday afternoon at the Calle Real Shopping Center in Goleta.

Tiny goblins, vampires, ghosts, witches, princesses and superhero look-alikes meandered door-to-door with one thing on their mind — getting candy.

More than 30 merchants at the shopping center hosted the annual “Halloween Extravaganza.”

Employees handed out treats, and children got their candy fix before it turned dark outside.

The trick-or-treating hot spot drew large crowds down the one-block shopping area, stretched across Calle Real between Patterson and Fairview avenues.

Last year, the three-hour celebration grew to more than 1,000 attendees.

Glenn Avolio, vice president the Calle Real Center Merchants Association, said the event had been a destination for up to 20 years.

“It’s a special day and a traditional event,” Avolio said. “We love seeing the community come out and show support. A lot of people have been coming here for years, and the merchants make it possible to have a good time too.”

Bella the Boxer was dressed as a cloud at the “Halloween Extravaganza” event in Goleta. Click to view larger
Bella the Boxer was dressed as a cloud at the “Halloween Extravaganza” event in Goleta. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

The event continues to be a popular choice for families who seek a safe Halloween environment.

“We don’t have to worry about the candy being unsafe or a lot of cars driving near the kids,” said Santa Barbara resident and mother Josie Valadez. “Halloween is about having a safe and fun time.”

Valadez’s daughter, Melanie Alonzo, 4, waited in line to get her face painted with whiskers and a cat's nose. 

Dressed in a bordeaux-colored pirate hat and black boots, Karrinne Galle, owner of a children's theme party business called Tea in Tiaras, also painted a purple and blue butterfly near Alonzo’s eyebrow. 

“Halloween is one of the biggest days for face painting and kids love it,” Galle said. “More shopping malls should have events like this.”

Besides the hunt for sweets, the event featured holiday-themed crafts, free tractor rides, and an ambulance and Santa Barbara County Fire Department truck tour.

Children trick-or-treat on Coast Village Road in Montecito Click to view larger
Children trick-or-treat on Coast Village Road in Montecito (Ruben Orozco photo)

Children also put their candy corn sugar rush to good use by jumping around in bounce houses.

Pets, adults and kids celebrated by showing off their creative costumes.  

Joshua Garcia used multiple cardboard boxes to build his robot Halloween attire.

The 11-year-old walked around the shopping center with his younger brother, who was dressed as video game character Mario.

Event volunteer Tess Pulver managed a bounce house and said she was impressed with the homemade costume ideas.

“It’s amazing how creative the kids are," Pulver said. “The children are also kind and nice to each other."

Similar events were staged by merchants in downtown Santa Barbara and on Coast Village Road.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Children weren’t the only ones in the Halloween spirit on Monday, as a group of ‘witches’ enjoyed lunch at Andersen’s Restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara. Click to view larger
Children weren’t the only ones in the Halloween spirit on Monday, as a group of ‘witches’ enjoyed lunch at Andersen’s Restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

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