SPOOKY SWAP MEET 2021 OVERVIEW
More than half way to Halloween, during the first weekend in May 2021- a Spooky Swap Meet was just what the doctor ordered. Created by Claire Dunlap, (Supervising Producer of Midsummer Scream), Sarah Cooke (Instagram Influencer and Creator of GOREnaments), David Markland (Executive Director Midsummer Scream) and Jon Cooke (Creative Director 13th Floor Entertainment) put together a place for all spooks and ghouls to gather, eat and shop.
Tickets went on sale for the originally one day only event and POOF they were gone! But by popular demand, a second day was added and that too sold out very quickly. Vendors secured their spots to sell new scary stuff and even recycled ghostly goods. With COVID-19 still hanging around, all necessary safety measures including timed entry with limited guests, social distancing and mask requirements allowed attendees to enjoy some spooky time together.
Just off the 110 freeway, there is a hidden gem called Heritage Square Museum, located at 3800 Homer Street in Los Angeles, CA. Housed there are various structures from the close of the 19th Century and early decades of the 20th Century. These buildings varied from residential homes such as the Hale House and the Perry Residence to the Palms Depot- a train station, and the Lincoln Avenue Methodist Church just to mention a few. Nestled between a couple of houses was a beautiful stone staircase surrounded by tall trees and was a great spot to just sit and relax. What an awesome place to visit and absorb the beauty of these ancient buildings.
Parking was down the road from the entrance and for as small as the lot was for all the vehicles, the parking team had it down. One car out and the next one was right there to fill the spot. These guys did not miss a beat and started the day off right.
We were greeted by 2 huge skeletons adorning the rod iron gated entrance and our tickets were scanned and we were in. We were given trick or treat bags and a map to ensure that we visited each house on the route. And off we went.
Each of the Trick or Treat stops were decorated by different sponsors such as Mystic Museum, The Farm Haunt and LA Haunted HayRide. It was just like going out on Halloween Night except for it was broad daylight! Murder House Productions created a stop where you felt like you were in Trick R Treat the movie. Including Sam and some of his friends who you could get up close and take photos with… if you dared. Vamp and the Fiends introduced us to their newest mascot, in the flesh- Mr. Pumpkin. And what would a scary day out be without a visit from Monte Revolta and his cohorts Rotly and Miss Muerte. What great sights for eyes that have missed these creepy folks for so long. Kids of all ages stopped at each spot on the map and shouted those infamous words, “Trick or Treat!”
Boneyard Effects put together a crew to create Monsters including witches and werewolves who roamed the grounds. Costumes were also encouraged and ranged from spooks dressed in all black to Michael Myers creeping amongst the guests. Even the crew had spooky swap meet shirts, hats and masks. Everyone was in the spirit!
Vendors showcased their goods. Be it homemade creepy dolls, vintage Halloween blow molds or straight out of the box creepy creeper shoes… there was something for everyone. Haunters also cleaned out their storage units and blew out some gently used props. New t-shirt designs were showcased by Tee No Evil and Love Pain & Stitches brought out purses for the guests. There was even Spooky Swap Meet official merchandise to commemorate the inaugural event.
An event would not be complete without FOOD! Rad Coffee drove in their coffee truck and kept the visitors caffeinated and hydrated with Zombie Lemonade and various high octane coffee drinks. Misjefitotacos filled the bellies of guests with their Killer Tacos, Monster Burritos, Mummy Wrap Dogs and Ghostly Quesadillas. Everything on this menu was to die for! And don’t forget to freeze yourself from the inside out, by indulging in treats from Olde Tyme Ice Cream. You picked an item- vanilla bar, frozen banana or cheesecake. It was dipped in gourmet chocolate and then topped with your favorite topping. What a way to beat the heat.
Due to the fact that Halloween 2020 and pretty much everything else was cancelled, it seemed that people were ready and anxious to get out and celebrate Halloween together. It was thrilling to see so many happy faces, well at least their smiling eyes behind their masks.
We don’t know what measures the future holds with social distancing and masks, but we do know that we can’t wait to see our spooky friends again in the future. In fact, on December 17-19, 2021, Midsummer Scream will be putting together Season’s Screamings Holiday Horror Convention at the Pasadena Convention Center. Definitely something to look forward to.
Until then… scare ya later!
Renee lives in a small suburb of Los Angeles with her husband. Each day she crosses the border into Orange County to go to her desk at a large HR outsourcing company. If you catch her in an elevator, she will usually check out your shoes and wonder where you got them. Renee enjoys most things Halloween, taking photos everywhere she goes, bouncing around theme parks and listening to her rock music at very high decibels.
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