More than 4,000 people donned their costumes and invaded Nationwide Arena this afternoon to celebrate the first Hockey Halloween with the Blue Jackets presented by Nationwide Insurance. Ghouls, goblins, ghosts, and more came out in droves to paint pumpkins, skate on the Main Ice, play games on the main concourse, and trick-or-treat for candy on the suite level.
The free event attracted kids of all ages as well as adults. The Slominski family had three generations represented at the event, which lasted from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Anndrea Slominski attended the event with her two children, her niece, and the children’s grandparents. Overall, she was very impressed with the scope of the event.
“Everything was great. There were lots of activities for everyone of all ages. We had a great time,” she said.
The kids couldn’t decide which part was their favorite, but agreed that the face painting, balloon animal station, and Scavenger Hunt were among the best activities.
Families moved among stations at their own pace, finding fun things to do on almost every level of Nationwide Arena. The main concourse held a Kids Zone with a bounce house and face painting as well as a Teen Zone complete with a fortune teller and Rock Band video game battle.
The Labatt Blue Zone was even open to adults who wanted to relax, grab a drink, and watch some football.
Party-goers with a sweet tooth could take the elevators up to the suite level, which were decorated with different Halloween themes to scare and entertain the trick-or-treaters. The Main Ice was also open to skaters who wanted to experience the rush of skating on NHL ice (while listening to creepy music played by the CBJ organist).
Michael and Natalie Darr, who brought their two daughters, Juliette and Eva, said they hope the Blue Jackets will continue the event in the future.
“It’s impressive – very well put-together and good for the kids,” said Michael Darr.
Of course, a Halloween party isn’t complete without a costume contest for the kids. Stinger acted as the contest judge while Jeff Rimer announced the winners. The Blue Jackets star mascot chose two winners who walked away with cool prizes, including an Xbox 360.
All in all, Hockey Halloween allowed fans and families to have some afternoon fun while getting into the Halloween spirit with the Blue Jackets. Its overwhelming success could prove to be the beginning of a new Halloween tradition for the Columbus community and Blue Jackets fans.
In the meantime, have a Happy Hockey Halloween!