The community enjoyed a spook-tacular time over the weekend sporting their Halloween costumes, partaking in fun activities and exciting contests, and sampling great food, all to benefit the Big Spring Area Food Bank.

The Creature Feature Weekend event once again took to the Cumberland Drive-In Theatre Saturday as numerous families came out and enjoyed a wonderful time soaking in the spooky-season vibes.

More than 40 vendors set up throughout the day to give their support for the Scares That Care charity, which combats real monsters in life, such as assisting families who have a sick or terminally ill child, a breast cancer warrior, or a burn survivor. Or, in this case, combating hunger in the community.

Food vendors at Creature Feature Weekend were Uncle Eddie’s BBQ, The Italian Job Food Truck and Coffeeine Unlimited.

Many fun activities were available for the whole family, such as pumpkin carving, photos with the Ghostbusters mobile, a zombie paintball range, inflatable Bounce Houses by 3 Monkeys Inflatables, a Halloween egg hunt, Trunk R Treating and a costume parade contest. To round out the festivities, two movies were featured: “Hocus Pocus” and “Killer Klowns from Outer Space.”

Creature Feature Weekend is an independent film festival and horror convention founded by Craig and Sandy Yastrzemski.

Sandy and Craig were happy to give the community a wonderful event for a great cause.

“The turnout has been amazing,” said Sandy. “The weather has also cooperated with us.”

“What we wanted was to create a community event,” she noted. “Our show last year was for the Scares That Care charity because they weren’t able to hold any of their events because of Covid. So we did that last year to support them and a lot of their fan base came out to that event. This year, a lot of the locals came out and we want to make a mark in the local community, as well as the families they support. It means everything to us. We also want to make it a family friendly event. That was our number one priority.”

“All the kids were so excited about the Halloween egg hunt,” Craig said. “And we had a lot of kids for the costume contest. I would like to see more families come through. It’s also free for kids 10 and under. We just like seeing it as a family-friendly environment.”

Writer and director Mick Garris, known for his work on “Critters 2,” and “Hocus Pocus,” among a host of other productions, attended the event for a signing of a book titled “Master Of Horror: The Official Biography of Mick Garris,” written by Abbie Bernstein.

“I’m just shocked that anybody wanted to write a book about me,” he quipped. “I always joke with Abbie saying, ‘My mother is dead, who’s going to buy it?’”

Garris enjoyed being a part of the special event.

“It’s very unique and I’m having just the best time ever,” he said, “It’s always good to support Scares That Care. They really are a wonderful association.”

He noted the Big Spring Area Food Bank donation site at the event was a wonderful idea.

“I think it’s great and really more important now than ever,” said Garris. “The idea that people are helping other people out at a time when people are standing in the way of helping others is really important to celebrate. It just reminds us that people need a hand besides ourselves, and it’s just important to be able to share with people that are in hard times. It’s our obligation.”

The timing was just right for Garris to attend the event as it fell on the same weekend he was visiting his sister.

“My sister moved to Gettysburg a year ago,” he said. “When Craig contacted me about this, the combination of doing something for charity and a special event like this in an old-fashioned drive-in movie theater while also visiting my sister made it an irresistible choice to make.”

As a “Native Angeleno,” Garris described the area to be much different than his roots in California.

“I went to downtown Carlisle today for lunch and it’s just amazing and beautiful. It’s fantastic. And I will be seeing a lot of Gettysburg with my sister tomorrow. But as a native of Los Angeles, it’s a very different experience when you’re surrounded by buildings that are 200 years old. An old building in LA is 50 years old. There’s so much history, and I just love new experiences.”

Those in attendance also had a blast spending time with friends and family doing Halloween-themed activities.

Donnie Drumm was selling handmade horror-themed Halloween props, including axes and knives.

“I’ve been working with Craig and Creature Feature Weekend since its inception three years ago. Between those years, they have been treating my family who has been volunteering with respect, and I’ve been happy to work with the charity and will continue to support them with any event they do.”

Ashley Miller said, “It’s a cool event. It’s been a lot of fun and also fun seeing the little kids wearing classic Halloween costumes. The Ghostbusters car is also really cool.”

Twelve-year-old Colin Furman won first place in the pumpkin-carving contest. He said his design was inspired by the movie “Halloween 2,” and Ghostface from the movie series “Scream.”

“I’ve been having a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s great meeting new people and making new friends. Last year, I won ‘scariest’ in the pumpkin-carving contest. Meeting Mick Garris was awesome and he signed my Funko Pop. But overall it’s been a fun experience.”

Jesenia Rodriguez said this was her family’s first time at the Creature Feature Weekend event.

“It’s been a great time and we’re definitely going to come back next year,” she said.

Kloey Fahnestock, 11, won best costume dressed as Freddy Krueger from “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”

Brittany Burkholder said, “The event is fantastic. Everyone is super friendly. There’s been a huge variety of costumes. I met Mick and he is the nicest man in horror. It was a pleasure to meet him.”

Kerri Anne Kraemer won best adult costume dressed as Winifred Sanderson from “Hocus Pocus.”

“It’s my second time coming to this event and first time entering in the costume contest,” she said. “They’ve got a good thing going on here.”

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