WESTFIELD, NJ — A town-wide festival honoring Addams Family creator Charles Addams will return for the third consecutive year.
This year, events will be socially distanced in the pandemic version of the festival that has been dubbed “Alt Addams Fest,” organizers announced on Friday. It will include drive-in movies, pumpkin carving via Zoom and self-guided tours of artwork through Mindowaskin Park, in addition the return of happenings from past festivals such as the Haunt Your House Contest.
“Perhaps now more than ever, the essence of Charles Addams’ creations ring true with their odd, macabre take on everyday life, and themes of home and family at the core,” said Councilwoman Dawn Mackey, AddamsFest chairperson in a news release. “We are thrilled to bring back this celebration of one of Westfield’s most notable residents in a newly re-imagined way that is reflective of the challenges, silver linings and resiliency of 2020.”
The events are as follows, organizers announced on Friday:
Wicked Windows of Westfield: Once again, AddamsFest promises to transform Westfield into a fanciful, spooky, kooky destination. Throughout October, residents and visitors can support Downtown Westfield and South Avenue businesses while taking in the Wicked Windows of Westfield, an artistic celebration of Halloween and The Addams Family.
Haunt Your House Contest: Back by popular demand! Get in the spirit of the season with Westfield’s third annual Haunt Your House contest. Community members will tour Westfield to view the entries and vote for their favorites using an online map of participating homes. Registration opens Sept. 14.
Draw This in Your Own Style – The Addams Family: The “Draw This in Your Style Challenge” is a viral trend that emerged over the past few years on social media and art-oriented websites. The challenge begins with a posted piece of artwork and then challenges others to reinterpret that drawing or character in as many different styles as possible, often with amazing and inspiring results. AddamsFest will invite the public to participate in this contest by drawing one of Charles Addams’ specific iconic cartoons in their own style and sharing their entries on social media.
Mystical Mindowaskin: One of Westfield’s most picturesque destinations will be the site of a family-friendly, self-guided stroll that will evolve throughout October and include features such as the Painted Pumpkin Path, showcasing works of art presented by the Westfield Public Arts Commission; Quest for the Halloween Fairy Doors, a hunt to locate these hidden portals on various trees; an Enchanted Forest; the return of the Addams Family House on Mindowaskin Pond; and a variety of innovative photo stops along the way.
Maniacs’ Carving Contest: Join Brooklyn’s beloved Maniac Pumpkin Carvers via Zoom for a hands-on jack-o-lantern carving tutorial, and enter your creation for a chance to win prizes from local businesses.
Dudley’s Drive-In (Oct. 23 and 30): A little bit retro and naturally socially distant, a drive-in will be added to the 2020 Alt AddamsFest line-up. The South Avenue train station lot will host four drive-in movie screenings:
Friday Oct. 23, 6:30 p.m.: It’s a Halloween pajama party for the families! Get comfy, put the kids in the car, and settle in for – what else? – “The Addams Family” movie, set right here in New Jersey.
Friday, Oct. 23, 9 p.m.: The second shift is for the braver audiences, with a screening of the classic thriller “Psycho.”
Friday, Oct. 30, 7 p.m.: Pajama family screening of “Hotel Transylvania.”
Friday, Oct. 30, 10 p.m.: Calling all Brads and Janets (age 18+)! AddamsFest tradition lives on for a late-night screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Maybe hold on to that scarce toilet paper from this year and bring it along.
Tamaques Haunted Trail (Oct. 24 and 25): Cars near and far are summoned to load up with passengers and drive through this new and immersive Halloween experience in Tamaques Park. By day, the “Trick or Trail” will welcome families for a spooky, age-appropriate event, while the distinctly haunted “Trail of Terror” will be held at night for more mature attendees seeking a frightful drive. Through a combination of live action and digital simulation, this innovative attraction for a pandemic-friendly environment aims to bring the spirit of the season to a variety of age groups.
Charles Addams: A New York State of Mind (Oct. 29): Missing Manhattan? Join a virtual conversation with Kevin Miserocchi, director of the Tee & Charles Addams Foundation, as he as he regales audiences with tales of the saucy side of his friend, Chas, and introduces the new book featuring illustrations of Addams’ beloved New York City, “Addams’ Apple: The New York Cartoons of Charles Addams.” Get a behind the scenes glimpse of Charles and Tee Addams’ home in the Hamptons (“The Swamp”), visit the pet cemetery where they were married and explore the mysterious home where Charles Addams’ creations were born.
“The return of AddamsFest is a wonderful way to provide the community with a celebration and connectedness during a year that has challenged us all,” said Mayor Shelley Brindle. “I’m thrilled that we are able to find innovative ways to have these festivities safely and keep the spirit of AddamsFest in Westfield for its third year.”
For more information, visit https://www.addamsfest.com/
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