Ghosts, ghouls, and goblins will be on the loose at The University of Texas-Pan American on Saturday, Oct. 27 from 6-10 p.m. at the UTPA Fieldhouse. The University will be celebrating its 46th annual Carnival of the Great Pumpkin.
Thousands of people are expected to attend the yearly event, which is free and open to the public. University community members, as well as families from neighboring communities, are encouraged to dress in their cutest or scariest costume to spread the Halloween spirit.
"This event provides a safe environment for the children of the Rio Grande Valley to enjoy a plethora of activities. This also allows children the opportunity to get a glimpse of the real college experiences that make a student's time at UTPA enjoyable," Giovanni Lopez, festivals committee chair for the University Program Board, said. "It is a family-friendly environment."
The fun-filled carnival got its start in 1966 and has been a time-honored tradition ever since. The festival will feature face painting, musical entertainment, balloon art, a costume contest for cash prizes, and a spooky haunted house. There will also be a number of inflatable jumps for young trick-or-treaters. Free parking is available adjacent to the Fieldhouse.
"It gives children the opportunity to come to our campus and encourage them to attend college and spend time with their families," Lopez said. "It is a great tradition for UTPA because it brings prospective students together. It also joins together the UTPA community with the surrounding cities."
More than 40 student organizations will sell food and host various carnival games for the public. The Carnival of the Great Pumpkin is a key fundraising activity for UTPA student organizations. The money they collect is used to fund seminars and organization functions throughout the year.
For more information on the Carnival of the Great Pumpkin, call the Office of Student Development at (956) 665-2660.