By Alexander Dworkowitz
As part of a continued attempt to bring more people to downtown Flushing, the Flushing Mall and the Flushing Chinese Business Association have launched a Halloween carnival at the mall.
The carnival, which features a dozen rides ranging from a roller coaster to a ferris wheel, began Monday and is slated to continue through Sunday.
“We want to present a special event for families,” Fred Fu, president of the Flushing Chinese Business Association,said at a news conference last Thursday.
The highlight of the carnival is a costume contest, slated to begin at 6 p.m. on Halloween in the mall’s parking lot at 39th Avenue and Prince Street. Judges will award winners in six categories based on age and costume style with a grand prize of $260.
The Flushing Mall has attracted a largely Chinese customer base. Although there is no equivalent to Halloween in Chinese culture, like many immigrant groups before them it has become popular among Chinese-Americans, said Titi Ho, who is in charge of marketing the carnival.
The carnival, however, is not focusing on the Chinese community. Instead, it is part of both the mall’s and FCBA’s attempts to bring more non-Asians to downtown Flushing.
FCBA, which is the main organizer of the Lunar New Year Parade in February and the Moon Festival in September, has reached out to Hispanic, black, Jewish, and South Asian groups among others to help plan their festivities. Fu said he hoped the Halloween festival would become another tradition.
Irwin Treiser, general manager of the Flushing Mall, also expressed high hopes for the event.
“What we are doing is trying to let people know what downtown Flushing is, what it’s all about,” Treiser said. “Our purpose is to try to get the rest of the city to know about this very unique neighborhood.”
The carnival is scheduled to be open Thursday, Oct. 31, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 1, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 2, from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 3, from noon to 9 p.m.
Event organizers are offering free parking to those attending the event at their lot on College Point Boulevard off 39th Avenue.
For more information, call 888-1234.
Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300 Ext. 141.