Before night fell on All Hallows’ Eve, dozens of costume-clad children and their families met at the Carpinteria Arts Center courtyard for the town’s silliest and spookiest event of the season: a Halloween costume contest sponsored by the Howard School. 

It’s the first year that the Howard School has put on a community costume contest, but when over 100 people came out for the event, they knew that they had started a tradition they’d be continuing for years to come, said Jason Rodriguez, Howard School parent/board member who helped organize the event.

“The event went really well—it was reminiscent of the costume contests from my childhood in my hometown,” said Rodriguez. “I grew up in a small community and we would always have a costume contest in the town center. That’s a memory of mine that has lasted into adulthood for me.”

Several businesses pitched in for prizes and small delights for kids, and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office brought McGruff the Dog and a trunk full of treats. “There were people of all ages there and in costume having a good time,” Rodriguez said, “the event really brought everybody together.” 

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