We missed out the one in Straits Quay last year after Shern got sick (though I took him trick-or-treating alone in Straits Quay), so this year I decided to bring them there to join the crowd.
My boys getting all excited, wearing their Jet Packs and taking a basket each to collect the candies.
It was stated that registration starts at 7pm. But at 6.45pm there was already a queue and the people in charge were already distributing numbers, so I guess registration started early.
Luckily we went early, because there are limited space available. 150 ppl I heard. (but in the end I heard there were more!)
Shern was given a number on a coloured sticker on their clothing. At about 7.30pm, they were divided into 4 groups based on their number given and their sticker colour. Shern was in Group D.
This is in hoping that smaller groups are easier to manage as compared to last year's which I heard that the whole crowd went trick-or-treating together. Yes, the whole lot of them all in one group!
But then. that was also when I realized that there would be chaos throughout the night.
When they were announcing which number/colour goes to which group, all 4 group leaders were holding the SAME coloured whirly-fan (or whichever you call those) !
And there were no indication on the fan which is Group A or B or C or D, so it was kind of confusing, although the MC did shouted that the 'Group D Leader is the one holding the fan standing behind near the entrance' and 'Group A is the one holding the fan standing on my left', etc.
With more than 200+ participants together with their family/friends, it was a big crowd and difficult to see the group leaders.
Next, they did not limit the number of people accompanying the kids/participants for the trick-or-treating. So the whole family/friend all walked together with the participants, making the crowd even bigger. Look at the crowd of just our group when they were taking the candies from one of the outles.
And because there were no limitation on the number of accompanying person, the place got very crowded and there were no line/queue. Everybody just barged inside towards the person distributing the candies, and there were no directions on which way to go or which way to leave. Just squeezed our way in and out!
And our Group Leader just shouted to the large crowd like 'Go collect your kindy from Outlet A, and then go next door to Outlet B and then wait for me here'. And then the whole crowd would just barged into Outlet A and then into Outlet B. You cannot be too slow or you would be left behind.
This is Shern waiting for announcement on which Store to go into (as not all outlets were participating).
And because of having no queue and all, some kids didn't manage to squeeze through the crowd either because they were too small sized or they were not fast enough and would leave empty handed.
And also one kid stole some candies from Shern's basket and Shern cried a little because of that!
Our Group Leader which did her best.
In the end they did stick a small paper on their colourful twirly fan to indicate which group this is.
But even with all these disorganization, I heard that this year's is already way better than last year's. And I know that it is not easy to manage such a big crowd.
But I would like to propose some steps that Straits Quay may want to implement for next year's Halloween Party.
#1. Take registration before the actual day so that SQ can know the number of participants. If same day registration, even if you plan to keep it to 150 ppl, chances are that if registration is held on that day, you would extend it to more than that (which I heard that was what happened).
This is not good because the participating outlets would not have enough candies to cater for the sudden extra people.
And if you do registration on that day and really keep it t 150 people, then the people who turned up on the day and got rejected would be so unhappy and it would be difficult for the parents to explain to their kids on why they are being rejected.
#2. State in the registration form that only 1 parent/guardian is allowed to accompany 1 participant during the trick-or-treating session. This is so that there is a limited number of crowd and is easier to form a two-by-two queue/line, and would be really much easier when collecting the candies from the participating outlets. No more huge crowd barging into the person distributing the candies and squeezing their way out amongst the crowd!
But although there were some chaos and disorganization, Shern enjoyed himself (except for the time when someone stole his candies from his baskets!).
Shern amidst the crowd of princesses, superheroes, ghosts, vampires and pumpkins, etc.
After the whole trick-or-treating session at about 9pm, we were all famished and managed to grab a table at our favourite restaurant in Straits Quay - Blue Reef!
And to tell the truth, Shern and Khye had much more fun there, playing with the Blue Reef staff as we were the last few of the patrons there. Shern was happy to see his favourite person Aivin there!
They were dancing and posing in their Jet Packs.
Khye was especially excited as it was 'Incy Wincy Spider' to him!
The staff even posed with Shern with their Halloween make up!
Thank you Blue Reef for always making my boys happy!
And when we were out of Blue Reef and when the crowd dispersed, my boys had fun really shooting fast as Jet Packs!
They were like 'Ready, Get Set. GOOOOOO.....!'
And they went again and again!
And then they danced their silly dances with their Jet Packs on, with Khye following his bro in everything! lol. It was fun watching them having so much fun!
And lastly, last photos of my Jet Pack boys!
And also thank you Straits Quay again for organizing such event!
Above everything you all did put in a good effort in being the first few places for organizing Halloween events in Penang.
Hope to join you all again next year!