Dorian Hargrove 8:30 p.m., Dec. 12
Fall Festival - The Costume Cakewalk at Silver Wing Park
“Nay, I pirthee put on this gown and this beard.” Shakespeare, Twelfth Night
Friday, October 21, 2011- A killer bee was spotted on Friday afternoon in Otay Mesa. That bee was in the form of my daughter dressed up for the Fall Festival at Silver Wing Park. We arrived with the party already in full swing. It was not as large as the recent Block Party, but still there was music, food, a few booths selling merchandise and most importantly games for the kids.
We spent the majority of our time as spectators of a game of cakewalk in which contestants competed for pastries. For those unfamiliar with the game, there are numbers drawn on the floor and the group is supposed to walk over the numbers until the music stops. Then a number is drawn and whoever is on top of the winning number is the lucky winner.
The participants were dressed up in costumes. I saw an AutoBot, a couple of witches, a Whoopee Cushion, Mr. Incredible and one Super Hero who happened to win the cakewalk twice in a row (which I believe is an official Fall Festival record). Also participating was my 6-month old daughter being carried by her grandpa. My dad entered the game under the guise of playing for “his granddaughter”, but we all know who would have devoured the doughnuts and cupcakes if they had won. He along with my mom ended up being the only adults participating in the first games. However, as the day progressed other adults soon joined in on the fun, as the stakes got higher.
Being at the event reminded me of my childhood costume parties. My favorite costume growing up was a custom made Pac-Man in which I was inside a round ball. The only downside was that I had to have my skinny legs in yellow stockings sticking out of the yellow sphere. But since my face was concealed, I didn’t care. I walked proudly and I won that 3rd grade Costume Contest.
When kids put on a costume they can play a character easier, they walk proudly in a superhero suit or play the role of a villain for the rest of the other kids to willingly run away from them in an impromptu game of tag. Gatherings like the Fall Festival are like disguises in that they build neighborhood’s confidence; showing the would-be loiters that the park is for the family at this moment, but if they continue to schedule new functions regularly, this can become a permanent state. The truth is an unused park becomes a target for vandals, drug use and other crimes; events like this thwart such behavior. Thanks to the recent festivities, the community is starting to realize this is a great park when there is an event, but it’s also a great park on its own.
As we continued watching a game of cakewalk my dad came back with an ear-to-ear smile. He was holding up a blue rubber ball the size of a melon textured with points that made it fun to grip and said, “Look what we won.” My daughter was already eyeing it to ease her teething pains. He had spun a wheel in an effort to win candy, but instead won a prize. So they did not win in the game of cakewalk, but our luck changed on the wheel of chance.
At the Fall Festival at Silver Wing Park we saw a group of locals enjoying the music and dancing to the next number on the cakewalk playing field. Some kids ran to the next number, others skipped while the adults swayed to the music. There were several joggers, perhaps unaware of the event currently taking place, who broke into contagious smiles as they passed by the party. Unfortunately, we left before the Costume Contest started so my daughter didn’t get to participate because she decided she wanted to eat dinner instead. Cars were still arriving as we hurried home, content with our time well spent. Three generations of my family attended the Fall Festival that day and in all of our eyes the event went well.