El Cajon's Hauntfest on Main offers free family fun for Halloween

More than 30,000 people expected
Posted at 6:00 AM, Oct 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-20 18:16:59-04

For the 6th straight year, Main Street in El Cajon will be turned into a Halloween party with 30,000 people expected to show up.

It's the annual "Hauntfest on Main."

"This is what it's all about," said Mayor Bill Wells, "A way to have some family fun for the kids."

This year's theme is Ghostbusters, and the block party will feature a replica of the ECTO-Mobile from the movie. They'll also show both the original Ghostbusters film and the 2016 reboot on a 20-foot outdoor projection screen.

Other activities at Hauntfest include live music, carnival rides, a kids' zone with crafts and games, a pumpkin patch, car show and even a scary petting zoo featuring 10-foot albino boa constrictor.

Wells said the key is keeping it as low-cost as possible. That's why the activities, with the exception of the carnival rides, are all free.

"Families want to do events like this, but it's expensive to take the kids, pay 10-15 dollar admission, buy food, you can spend a couple hundred dollars in a night," he said. "Here, you don't have to spend anything. You can come out, have a good time, the kids can have fun and you don't damage your pocketbook."

Wells also said it's a great way for the city to show off how the downtown area has been revitalized over the last decade.

"We have done so much work cleaning up the city," he said. "It's a great city, it's a beautiful place. So I think a lot of people don't realize that."

To get ready, city staff will start closing East Main Street between Orange and Avocado Avenues at 10 a.m. Friday. They say they'll also have extra security in place all day and night to keep people safe.

"That's been the reality for the last 15 years," Wells said. "Any time you have an event like this, it's top of your mind."