Surf Stadium is dressing up as a fun spot for the city’s youth this Halloween.
Atlantic City kids ages 5 to 12 will be able to spend the evening before trick-or-treating traveling through a corn maze, going on a haunted hayride and picking pumpkins at the stadium thanks to a group effort that includes the city, police, fire and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.
“I thought it would be a creative way for the children of Atlantic City to come out and have fun and be safe,” said Gail Jasper, who thought up the event.
As community relations for the Police Department, she has tried to think up ways to have residents — and especially children — interact positively with law enforcement.
“It’s going to be a great night,” said Sgt. Monica McMenamin as she looked over the ballpark Thursday, the first day Public Works employees came to help set up.
Worker Darrell Young, 35, said they didn’t have anything like this when he was growing up in the city.
“It’s good for the kids to have,” he said. “It gives them something to do.”
Park Supervisor Demetrius Hamlett will be bringing his sons Mykial, 10, and Demetrius, 8, to the event, which runs from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 30.
He and his crew spent the early part of the morning getting a big metal pumpkin set up at the entrance.
“We can’t do anything without them,” McMenamin said. “They do our heavy lifting. Sometimes that goes unnoticed.”
But she said the workers have played a part in a lot of the recent initiatives, including the Stop the Silence cookouts and National Night Out.
During a brief tour of the stadium, Officer Bob Berg pointed out the plans for the city children who they hope will fill the area.
First will be a corn maze they will travel through, followed by a haunted hayride around the ballpark — staying off of the newly sodded field.
The Atlantic City Free Public Library will show a short movie on a big screen, although a choice has not yet been made. There will also be bouncy areas, hot dog vendors and hot chocolate.
“We’ve been working on it about a month,” said Berg, who is a well-known representative of the Police Department in the city’s schools.
Organizers are cautioning parents to have their children dress warm in case it’s a cold night. Kids can be picked up at 4 p.m. from any of the city’s schools by recreation buses, which will have supervisors on them. Those children coming straight to the stadium must be accompanied by an adult.
“I think it’s going to be nice,” Hamlett said.
“Really nice,” said Young.
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