Families, children enjoy SJC Halloween carnival

Noel Lyn Smith,

FARMINGTON — From the "Pokémon" character Pikachu to stormtroopers from the "Star Wars" films, children were dressed in all types of costumes to attend the San Juan College Halloween Carnival today.

Throughout the five-hour event, children and parents were treated to various games and activities, including costume contests and a haunted house, inside the college's Health and Human Performance Center.

Syuri Garcia, 10, wore a costume inspired by the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead and by the 2014 film "The Book of Life."

Garcia was dressed in a black-and-white mariachi outfit that came from Juárez, Mexico, and her face was covered in black-and-white paint with temporary tattoos. She also wore red roses in her hair and a mariachi hat.

"I like how unique it is," Garcia said about her ensemble.

Syuri Garcia, 10, shows off her mariachi costume during the San Juan College Halloween Carnival on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. San Juan College will hold a virtual "Scare-O-Rama" Halloween costume contest in 2020. Registration begins at 12 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, 2020.

The Farmington resident had attended the carnival in previous years, but this was the first time she had entered the costume contest for her age group.

"I get treats, and it's really fun," Garcia said about the event.

Her mother, Melissa Garcia, said she likes the carnival because it provides time to spend with Syuri, and it is a fun environment for families.

Clarissa Bowman, an adviser for the college's chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, said the carnival is sponsored by the San Juan College Student Activities organization, and it serves as the main fundraiser for many of the student clubs.

Part of the proceeds from the event will help AISES fund an upcoming trip to a national conference in Minnesota, Bowman said.

Noah Goimarac, 2, gets help with his costume during the San Juan College Halloween Carnival on Saturday at the college. From left are Sonya Contreras, 15, Sabrina Contreras, Steve McGee and Noah.

Bowman worked alongside student volunteers to operate a cupcake walk and balloon animal booth.

For the cupcake walk, participants moved in a circle and stepped on numbers taped to the floor as music played. When Bowman stopped the music, a student volunteer drew a number from a bucket, and whoever was standing on the correlating number won a cupcake while each participant received candy.

"Everyone is a winner," Bowman said.

At the end of one of the rounds, Rhiannon Yazzie's number was drawn. The 10-year-old from Shiprock, who wore face paint depicting Hello Kitty, happily accepted a cupcake. When asked how she felt about winning, Yazzie replied, "Good."

Emma Marriott, 6, goes pumpkin bowling during the San Juan College Halloween Carnival on Saturday at the college.

While the event had its share of children dressed as superheroes and princesses, it was not difficult to notice Ivy Cooper’s costume. Ivy, 8, carefully moved throughout the gymnasium wearing a bright pink flamingo on her head.

Her father, Jason Cooper, said Ivy initially did not plan to be a flamingo, but she later decided to wear it for the costume contest.

"It won't fit my sister," Ivy said with a giggle.

Jason made the flamingo from papier mâché this week for his younger daughter, Cora, but it was too heavy for her to wear.

Ivy Cooper, 8, sports a costume she and her family made during the San Juan College Halloween Carnival on Saturday at the college.

While Cora will most likely tow the flamingo in a wagon to trick-or-treat on Halloween, Ivy will be a sorcerer, Jason said.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636.