Valley News -

By Jeff Pack

Thousands turn out for Boo at the Bowl


Last updated 11/2/2018 at 12:43am

Jeff Pack

Thousands turn out for Boo at the Bowl Friday, Oct. 26, through Sunday, Oct. 28, at the Ramona Bowl Amphitheater.

Hundreds of little ghosts, goblins and monsters descended upon the Ramona Bowl last weekend – with parents in tow, of course – in preparation for Halloween night at the fourth Boo at the Bowl.

An estimated 1,500 passed through the gates of the event that was designed to be a fundraiser for the Ramona Bowl Amphitheater.

The event featured a trick-or-treat trail, carnival game booths such as the easy fish pond to a Plinko board-style bowling game. There were bounce houses, craft areas and even a haunted mini-golf area for the children.

"Every single year, we learn from the last year, and we try to improve on it," TJ Hepburn, Ramona Bowl Amphitheater board member and the man who came up with the idea, said. "We're to the point where things are working well and we're able to try and bring in one new game or one more attraction.

"The truth of the matter is, it's all volunteer. It's just a group of people that enjoy doing this and putting it together," Hepburn said.

While Hepburn and his team handled the events outside the amphitheater, Valley-Wide Recreation & Park District ran the haunted house area of the event inside the amphitheater.

The haunted house featured moderately frightening rooms of ghastly characters making loud noises and shaking the walls.

Magician Paul Locke entertained crowds every hour with magic shows that involved children in the crowd.

While the event was a hit with children and families from all over the area, the goal for Hepburn and his team is deeper.

Jeff Pack

A ghostly figure appears in this photo of the haunted house, presented by Valley-Wide Recreation & Park District.

"Not only is it a fundraiser for the Ramona Bowl, but it's community oriented and we want to get people back up here and get them involved," Hepburn said. "Another purpose is because this is a different age group than any of the other events we have up here, so when we go to advertise other things, now somebody can say, 'Oh, I know where that's at, I have been there before."

In addition to Hepburn's team, the Ramona Bowl worked with several different community groups to help the event run smoothly and offer more to the attendees. The groups that ran portions of the event as fundraisers for their club included West Valley Theatre and Baseball and Tahquitz ASB, San Jacinto Valley Academy Interact club and Hemet Sunset Rotary.

Hepburn, who modeled the event after a Boo at the Zoo event he attended when he lived in West Virginia, said the event hasn't "raised a million dollars yet."

"But it's a way for us to pay our bills and get things done throughout the year when there's nothing going on up here," he said.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at [email protected]


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