Norris turns into a Halloween wonderland for Project Pumpkin
  • MatSci Club member Faye Zhang creates a dry ice bubble.
  • 8-year-old Rolph Pinguil flexes.
  • Freshman Natalie Schilati with sisters Amanda and Elisa.
  • 4-year-old friends John Allchurch and Olivia Fisher.
  • Lissa Moraldo with her twins Eli, left, and Natalie, right.
  • Children wait in line for the pumpkin bounce house on the second floor of Norris.
Photos by David Gleisner / North by Northwestern

Candy, crafts, an inflatable pumpkin bounce house and a haunted maze were among the amenities which helped turn Norris University Center into a Halloween wonderland on Thursday night.

Northwestern Community Development Corps (NCDC), in collaboration with hundreds of student volunteers from various Northwestern student groups, hosted Project Pumpkin, a Halloween event for residents of Evanston and Chicago attended by 1,000+ children including spectacular superheroes, adorable animals, spooky skeletons and more.

Groups of students of all ages from Chicago and Evanston came out to the event, as well as many families from around the area, including the Moraldos.

“We’ve been having a really good time,” said Lissa Moraldo, the mother of two-year-old twins Eli and Natalie, who dressed as a lion and a cat. “We came because we live in Evanston and we saw it on the Evanston website and wanted an opportunity for them to get their costumes back on again.”

Children of all ages were seen strolling, and more often running between tables set up by student groups which offered a variety of activities including cookie decorating, temporary tattoos, coloring and, of course, lots of candy.

MatSci Club members Conrad Hedderick and Faye Zhang put on a show using dry ice, beakers, tubes and soapy water to create smoke-filled bubbles to the amazement of their young audience.

“There were so many kids that just ran up and were excited to see bubbling gas,” Hedderick said. “Earlier on when there were droves of kids, we couldn’t do the experiments fast enough.”

NCDC puts on the event every year, organizing student volunteers, student group booths and community outreach.

“Our thing for Project Pumpkin is getting the word out to all the schools in Evanston and Chicago, as well as reaching out to student groups on campus and getting them to play games and do fun activities with the kids,” said NCDC exec board member Tiffany Anderson. “Everyone seemed really excited, all the kids were really cute in their costumes and they all looked happy running around, so I think it was a success.”

John and Olivia, both four, are friends from their “super old school” in Evanston, and enjoyed the night collecting candy and playing games as a vampire and witch, respectively.

“My face and my hands are green!” exclaimed Fisher, who was wearing one of a very diverse group of costumes on display.

Project Pumpkin provided a plethora of Halloween activities for children of all ages, and NCDC will continue the annual tradition, hoping to reach even more schools, as well as more student groups on campus.

“I think we can make it even bigger and better in the future,” said Anderson.


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