La Jolla family shares love of Halloween with neighbors



Staff Writer

Halloween is going to be very scary — and fun — for kids of all ages again this year in Bird Rock and the rest of La Jolla.

There will plenty of pumpkins, lots of trick or treating, children’s costume contests galore and less-than-homey haunted houses.

• When it comes to haunted houses, Linda Davis and her husband David Garritty who live on Bellevue Avenue in Bird Rock, have the most elaborate and imaginative. The pair has become so good at decorating their lawn that the attraction maxes out in attendance each year. “We’ve been doing it for eight years,” said Davis. “My husband is from New Orleans and he and I share a love for Halloween and we started doing it (decorating) every year and it’s just gotten bigger.”

The front of their house is always decked out as a pirate ship.

A number of La Jolla High students including Kevin Riley, Stephen Wilkinson, Matt Twohig and Thomas McBee help decorate other parts of the property using different themes.

It’s become a neighborhood tradition. Said Davis: “Waverly (Avenue) put out their Christmas lights last year and they said their inspiration was our haunted house. Neighbors love it. It’s become one of those standard neighborhood events.”

Bird Rock has always been a popular place on Halloween.

“It’s huge,” said San Diego Police Lt. Jim Filley of the community’s annual trick-or-treating turnout. “There’s no other area of the beach that gets the concentration of pedestrians on the street.”

And since the community made a concerted effort a few years back to beef up the holiday police presence, the area has seen fewer incidents.

Police will have a command center in Bird Rock.

“We will have officers walking through the streets during the evening just to make sure everybody has a good time and stays safe,” said Filley.

Michelle Fulks, in charge of the Neighborhood Watch Program for the Bird Rock Community Council (BRCC), noted the community asks homeowners to turn all their outside lights off after 8 p.m. for an hour to clue people in that it’s time to go home.

Fulks said enhancing police presence and limiting trick-or-treating hours has largely eliminated hooliganism.

”The BRCC has also hired four off-duty officers who again will be patrolling. We’re hoping for another happy, uneventful Halloween.”

Other planned festivities include:

• La Jolla Rec Center’s Halloween festival and children’s costume contest from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, rain or shine, in or around the center at 615 Prospect St.

“We have carnival and food booths, arts and crafts, a coloring contest and pony rides, an inflatable jump, face painting and balloon art, pretty much the gist,” said Salome Martinez, La Jolla Rec Center rec leader.

The costume contest is free and judging will be at 1:30 p.m. for 2 & under, 2 p.m. for 3-4 year olds, 2:30 p.m. for 5-6 year olds, 3 p.m. for 7-8 year olds and 3:30 p.m. for 9-10 year olds.

Participation requires tickets, four for a dollar, which can be invested in food and other booths.

• La Jolla YMCA is also hosting its free annual Halloween haunting from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, replete with a costume contest, spooky crafts, a cookie crawl, a pumpkin ring toss and sticky dart game, treats and more. For information call (858) 453-3483.

• For more, see Life listings.