WESTFIELD, NJ – Enclosed in a clear plastic booth, two teens moved frantically to untangle a blue wire and plug the ends into sockets on opposite-sided walls.
Avery Avella, 10, and Alice Manzo, 11, secured one side, but it popped out of the socket at the opposite end as they attempted to fit the tangled wire in.
The duo missed their deadline.
Smoke spewed from the top of the booth on Sunday and the girls held their hands to their faces as a distant voice called out “You lose.”
Laughing, Alice, of Westfield, and Avery, of Cranford, exited the booth, a demonstration put on by Garwood-based Escapology, which specializes in what the establishment calls a “premium real-life escape game experience.”
Escapology was one among 230 vendors, at the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s 29th annual FestiFall, a street fair in Westfield’s downtown.
An estimated 35,000 people were expected to have circulated the downtown by day’s end on Sunday, said Gene Jannotti, executive director of the chamber, which represents about 500 businesses in Westfield, Garwood, Fanwood, Scotch Plains and Mountainside.
A Westfield police military surplus vehicle, called Babs, blocked off a side street as members of the public walked the downtown, many of them enjoying crepes, funnel cakes and soda-pop, including “sarsaparilla six shooter” from Wild Bill’s Old Fashioned Soda Pop Co.
“We’ve got a great crowd coming here today,” Jannotti said around noon. “We’re already packed with people we have a brand new and large kid zone.”
Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at firstname.lastname@example.org; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh