The Halloween Howl is a heartwarming Rollins tradition approaching its 18th anniversary on Saturday. The event never fails to get students, faculty, and families of the Winter Park area in the spooky spirit of the season. However, do not let the face painting and trick-or-treat-style block party fool you—the Howl on Holt Avenue is for people of all ages who like to eat candy and show their Rollins pride!
Rather than vendors selling goods and taking in money, this Rollins-run event is packed to the brim with tables stationed by on-campus organizations, clubs, sports teams, and departments. From 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 27, Holt Avenue will be transformed into a never-ending lineup of coloring, mask-decorating, and arts and crafts.
The goal of this anticipated holiday event is to give children a space to trick-or-treat and savor the joys of celebrating Halloween in a safe environment. It is up to each organization to decide what they might include or hand out at their tables, but this usually consists of candy, games, and awesome Halloween themed crafts!
The significance of this annual happening goes far beyond the realm of making local kids and their parents happy—it is a way for Rollins to express that we are supportive of our surrounding neighbors and consider ourselves a part of the community outside of our campus, rather than an isolated entity. Being a small school centered around values of community engagement and providing public good, this event is a symbol of Rollins actively opening their doors to the public and sharing precious memories with local family and friends. The event location on Holt Avenue creates an open atmosphere that is welcoming to anyone who wishes to participate in the fun, even if they live off campus.
Last year, attendance reached 1,500 people, all of whom gathered together for ghoulishly fun festivities such as a fan favorite: the costume contest. Children can enter to show off their killer costume style and creative ideas. The adult category involves some fierce competition; if you have a bad case of stage fright but still want the fame and fortune accompanying victory, pets can be dressed up and entered in their own heat of the contest. The ultimate concept of the competition is to provide a friendly and supportive environment for kids where they will not be judged, and they can win prizes for expressing who they are!
Another highlight are the haunted houses hosted by Fraternities and Sororities as well as the Off Campus Student Association. Children of all ages can walk through decorated houses and get a friendly fright from FSL and off campus students who chose to join in the fun.
There is always work to be done and materials to be prepared before 1:00 p.m on the Saturday of the Howl, so remember to reach out to the Center of Leadership and Community Engagement in the Mills building or through email to volunteer with set-up. Help is appreciated and encouraged, so if you are a good witch, a bad witch, or anything in between, come start your morning off right with some community service and get into the spirit of Halloween 2017 by giving back.