How Halloween became quite keen
Last year, I was very fortunate to be apart of a very unique convention here in Arizona. One of uncommon theme, this gathering of unique people for a particular purpose had always stuck with me for one reason: Almost every very single person at the convention, both exhibitor and attendee, were jolly and happy to be there. Families holding hands shopping at the vendor tables were laughing with the sales people, young attendees in full costume were talking and laughing with security, and event musicians were palling it up with fans. I was taken aback by the sheer amount of fun people were having, with not a frown to be seen on any faces.
In the interior of the New School of Arts and Academics in Tempe, this joyous event, Keen Halloween, brought the love of Halloween before blockbuster movies caused every boy to dress up as Darth Vader and before candy bars came in fun sizes. One location housed the love of all things spooky but not horror, and exhibitors who hand crafted their All Hallows’ Eve from hand, and not from a Party City.
From costume contests where teams of contestants had to create a costume from scratch only using a mystery box of household items in 90 minutes, to crafting and costuming seminars, to a punk/bluegrass playing a concert at the show’s peak, Keen Halloween knows how to do the October 31st holiday.
Near the end of the event, I searched desperately for a person that was stressed out or annoyed at the festivities and found what I was looking for. One person was nervously pacing between his booth and the main stage, with a worried look on his face. This person was the event’s founder and organizer, Daniel Davis. Almost as if he was a sponge of anxiety, soaking up any possible negative energy and recycling that into the fuel needed to keep Keen Halloween running smoothly, Daniel and his wife Dawna were the beating heart of this show and their personal love of Halloween and monsters encompassed every moment of the event. Why did Daniel and Dawna choose to put on this one of a kind show?
“We want to promote the Halloween from our childhood – with handmade decorations, costumes and art, gathering together with friends, and enjoying spooky entertainment and music. We couldn’t find an event like this, so we created it. It’s a chance for us to gather together spooky-inspired talent – artists, crafters, teachers and entertainers – who have a love for vintage Halloween.”
Lucky for the Valley, Keen Halloween is happening again this year at the Sano Fitness Canter in Metro Center Mall on September 28th and 29th.
Entertainment will feature a variety of odd acts and strange shows, including a live acoustic set by the Tucson-based garage rock band, The Mission Creeps. Bookmans will also be on hand as sponsors of the event along with last year’s hit, the Scarecrow King Photo Booth, where attendees can pose with the Scarecrow King, Marrow Thatch.
Tickets are $15.30 pre-purchase before the show and $20 at the door. Single day passes are available for $9.18 pre-purchase, $13 at the door. Kids 12 and under are free with a paying adult.
If there is one other Halloween themed event that you go to other than events on October 31st, Keen Halloween is it.