Spooky Celebration: Fishers Parks and Recreation Dept. hosts fourth annual Boo Bash


By Anna Skinner

Every October, city departments in Fishers work together in secret to plan the best booth at Boo Bash, the annual Halloween celebration hosted by the Fishers Parks and Recreation Dept. at the Nickel Plate District Amphitheatre.

Last year, the Dept. of Public Works won with its booth and construction-cone robot creation. The DPW also has built a miniaturized haunted maze in the past.

However, there are more ways to celebrate the fourth annual event than viewing the city’s creations, and Boo Bash will offer a variety of events for visitors.

Halloween village and live entertainment

Everything opens at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 21. A DJ will provide music throughout the event. Approximately 60 local businesses, organizations, nonprofits and city departments will have vendor booths with some sort of Halloween theme, either a trick-or-treat station or a children’s game.

“While the kids are engaged (at the booths), the parents can learn more about the business’s service or the nonprofit,” Marketing and Public Relations Manager Casey Cawthon said. “It’s dual-purpose. It’s obviously holiday recreation for the kids, but it’s also a chance for parents to learn about the businesses and connect. A lot of businesses give out coupon cards, so there’s an incentive to go out and explore the community after the event has ended. It really truly is a safe Halloween experience in an environment big enough for the entire community to come out.”

The first 1,000 attendees receive a complimentary warm pretzel and hot chocolate in the concession area, but other than that there are no concessions.

Costume contest

In addition to exploring booths and participating in activities, there is a costume contest limited to the first 50 participants in each of the four categories: prettiest, scariest, most creative and best movie character. Those who want to register are encouraged to visit the parks and recreation booth by 7 p.m. the night of the event. Age categories are 0-2, 3-5, 6-10, 11-12 and family.

City involvement

In addition to the competition between city departments, city staff has more reasons than one to attend Boo Bash.

“The other part to this is Boo Bash is an opportunity for our city departments to come out and connect with the residents,” Cawthon said. “It’s amazing to see how city staff rally behind this event. They really get involved and are out setting up hours before the event. It’s a neat opportunity for some departments that are not public-facing to get in front of the public and have some fun.”

Boo Bash will be 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater, 6 Municipal Dr.

“Boo Bash is a unique opportunity for our employees to connect with the residents that we serve,” Mayor Scott Fadness stated in an email to Current. “It’s an event our staff looks forward to participating in and builds community both inside and outside of city hall walls.”

2015 contest winner:

Last year, the Fishers Parks and Recreation Dept. served as judges and selected the Dept. of Public Works booth the winner of the yearly competition. Marketing and Public Relations Manager Casey Cawthon said the winning department typically receives a pizza party.

The DPW had a construction cone robot last year and a haunted house for children to go through that offered scary and non-scary routes.

Cawthon and the mayor’s department dressed up as cast from the Wizard of Oz. This year’s booths are kept secret until the event.