HUNDREDS of families turned out for a freaky fun day to mark Halloween at Tamworth’s Ankerside Shopping Centre.
The free event included arts, music, crafts, face-painting, and a trick or treat Monster March.
Helping them make the event truly spooktacular were furry monsters Googlebat, Kookie, Music Mike and Goofball.
The colourful characters led a free Monster Mash party thrilling children of all ages, many of whom arrived in Halloween themed fancy dress and had their faces painted as ghosts, ghouls and vampires.
Retailers at Ankerside supported the event by handing out Halloween treats to youngsters who joined the Monster March round the centre.
Lorry driver Mark Hatchett was among those who joined in the fun, with his partner Sheri Wheeler and her children – Cameron, 14, Samuel, 11, Zoe, seven and Phoebe, one.
Mark and Sheri, who is registered blind, were delighted to give the kids permission to be ‘little monsters’ for the day.
The foursome, of Glascote, Tamworth, said the Halloween theme of the party made doing the family shop all the more exciting.
Mark said: “All four of them have had a great time, creating spooky masks and fabulous Halloween decorations in the crafts workshops, and getting their photos taken with the monsters. The younger ones just loved that.
“There really is a party atmosphere. It’s a great idea for shopping venues like this to lay on activities to keep children entertained, especially in school holidays. They make friends, learn new crafts and it gives the kids something to look forward to.”
Mark added: “Halloween is quite a colourful event these days. I remember going trick or treating when I was younger but it was not half as big as it is today. It is more of a special occasion these days and it’s nice that the shopping centre has recognised that and created such a good vibe for the day.”
Ankerside Shopping Centre deputy manager Jeff Wigley said the Monster Mash party was a bumper success.
He said: “We had a great turnout and families really got involved, which is always nice to see. I want to thank all the stores who supported us with this event.
“As Halloween fell on a weekend this year I think there was even more of a vibrant atmosphere than usual. It brought a smile to everyone’s faces, the monsters were so colourful and watching the children putting on spooky masks they had made themselves and making ghoulish noises was fantastic. You could tell every really was having a fun time.”
There is more fun lined up at Ankerside shopping Centre in the weeks to come at stores to get into Christmas mood and Santa Claus makes his annual appearance.
For more information visit www.ankerside.co.uk