EAC’s First Annual Halloween Open House Party, offered 3-7 pm on October 31, was an enjoyable multi-faceted community event. Visitors were welcomed to visit the center as a trick-or-treat stop, collecting candy bags, glow sticks, and other non-food prizes; meanwhile, beverages and baked treats were on offer for all to enjoy while listening to the spooky musical stylings of Gene Nichols, who treated the room with seasonal tunes on ukulele, as well as eerie moments with musical saw, theremin, oinking toy pigs, slide guitar and more. Later in the evening, surf rock trio The Dramamines heated up the EAC theater with an amped up set, backed by projected vintage video clips edited together by band bassist Donovan deCesare,. Guitarist Steve Schmitt and drummer Mike Arsenault led the charge through the high energy tunes, while the downstairs fun continued.

“I envision this event as a decompression station for familes,” noted EAC Education & Outreach Coordinator Nicole Perkins, as staff and volunteers prepared for visitors on a particularly cold Eastport afternoon. An activity table with appealing art supplies—foam strips, pipe cleaners, markers and glue—flanked the refreshment station, and overlooked Nichols’ array of instruments. The EAC’s downstairs space was transformed with elaborate decorations—floating candles, spooky webs, ghosts, skeletons, graves and a lot of caution tape! Perkins credits new volunteer Louis West for help with decorating the space, as well new EAC Facilities Assistant Will Lopez.

The musical elements of the evening were boosted by volunteers Dan Cashore and Louis West, who helped musicians schlepp their gear, and by Rosalie Woodward, a longtime EAC volunteer whose usual role is publicity distribution. Woodward offered Nichols a hand throughout his show, sort of as a nurse might assist a surgeon, handing the desired tool for each moment! She was joined for a few numbers in enthusiastic backup vocals and dancing by EAC Publicity Director Lauren Koss, who organized the event volunteers.

Still more volunteers graced the event: Marlene Russ, a frequent volunteer on the hospitality side of EAC events worked to keep the snacks, hot coffee and tea flowing, in hopes of warming and reviving tired trick-or-treating parents and their peckish families. Cynthia Morse, an EAC Board member, greeted all comers in EAC’s front lobby, wearing a wee witch hat and doing her knitting all the while. Jude Kempe, another Board member, assisted The Dramamines in the theater, then projected Night of the Living Dead for EAC Films to cap off the night. Manuela Brice worked the EAC Films box office, decked out in Halloween finery.

The Halloween event was the brainchild of EAC Director Meg Colbert, who has a special penchant for costume and fantasy activities, and who offered Cosplay Circle at EAC throughout spring and summer. “We’re excited to offer this again next year,” enthused Colbert.