“That was really cool!” exclaimed one child after seeing Deanna Bedoun balancing a hula hoop surrounded by flames on her face. She was just one of the performers at the All Hallows Illumination event at Frog Island Park.
The evening was hosted by The Eyrie, a local artisan gift shop located in the heart of Depot Town.
Residents of Ypsilanti were encouraged to bring their pumpkins from home and line them up along the stairs of the amphitheater at Frog Island Park to be lit with a candle inside. This gave community members the final opportunity to display their Halloween pumpkins for the season. At the conclusion of the event, the pumpkins were going to be composted thanks to Recycle Ann Arbor and the city of Ypsilanti services.
Hundreds of jack-o’-lanterns were brought by locals and put on display, each with a unique carving. Many of the pumpkins sported the traditional faces carved out, such as triangle eyes and funky smiles. However, many had very intricate designs, such as the Detroit Lions logo and Bigfoot. One pumpkin even repped the city, with the word “Ypsi” and the famous water tower carved out.
Despite the chilly beginning-of-November weather, the amphitheater was packed with people of all ages, from toddlers to the elderly. Some even dressed up in costumes from Halloween the day earlier.
While the jack-o’-lanterns themselves were amazing to see, volunteer performers like Bedoun made the night even more charming for the Ypsi locals that came. With the trees illuminated in different colors, these performers added to the eerie and magical vibe of the evening.
Performing with fire alongside Deanna Bedoun were Chadewick Harris and Noah Husted, who are part of a festival that teaches workshops on flow arts. This included dancing with props like batons and hula hoops that are on fire.
According to Harris, flow art is the mixing of dance and props. Their flow art included spinning and dancing with fire.
Scattered across the park were other volunteer performers, such as the Violin Monster and Colleen Weisserman.
The Violin Monster, a violinist wearing a wolf mask, stood by the tridge and serenaded the families and friends that walked by. They also happily posed for photo ops with the attendees.
Tarot card readings were also offered by Colleen Weisserman next to the stage where the fire dancers performed.
“This is a really neat event, I’ve never been to anything like this,” said Bedoun. She particularly liked seeing the little kids running around dressed in their Halloween costumes.
For The Eyrie, it was important that this event was festive and gathered different members from all over the Ypsilanti community.
“I think stuff like this should be going on in Ypsi as much as possible,” said Sarah Grossman, who has happily dancing with her levitation wand. These are another form of flow art.
Grossman works in Ypsilanti and volunteered to dance with her wand because of how much fun she has with it. She was joined by her husband and two kids, who each had their own glow stick trying to copy their mom’s moves.
With a huge smile on her face, Grossman expressed her satisfaction with the evening. “I’m really happy to support it.”