Creatures Helps Restock Food Pantries

November 02, 2011

The Oregon Coast Aquarium’s annual Halloween event, Creatures, crept back to the Aquarium Saturday, with visitors bringing in a total of 4,295 pounds of food for Food Share of Lincoln County and Newport Food Pantry. It also brought in pet food for the Central Coast Humane Society. Admission to the event was $2 and two items of food or pet food.

The annual family Halloween celebration is now two events, with Creatures of the Day for children 9 and under and Creatures of the Night, a more frightful experience, for ghouls 10 and older during the evening. The evening event was an elaborate “soiree of the sinister” with a different theme in every area of the Aquarium. A Creepshow Cinema played “Fatal Beauties” with a concession stand offering ghastly treats. The nature trails became a terrifying stroll through beastly scenes. Fire Dancers performed in the courtyard, spooky divers swam alongside the fish in Passages of the Deep and costume contests had winners in different age categories.

“So many Lincoln County families are in need during these challenging economic times,” said Carrie Lewis, Aquarium President and CEO. “People were very generous with their donations at the door, and we’d like to say thanks and remind everyone about our next food drive, the Sea of Lights, December 2 and 3.” Lewis said the Aquarium would be decked out for the holidays for the annual holiday celebration, with colorful lights, holiday music, Santa and many gift ideas.

The two Aquarium events, Creatures and Sea of Lights, are among the biggest food drives of the year for Food Share of Lincoln County. “We have had USDA subsidies cut by 30 percent this year,” said Nancy Smith, Executive Director of Food Share of Lincoln County. “We have to make up the difference, and the food brought in by these events go a long way toward helping us do that,” said Smith.

The 19th Annual Sea of Lights is a festive holiday celebration Friday and Saturday, December 2 and 3 from 6:30 to 9:00 pm both evenings. Admission is $2 and two items of non-perishable food, or pet food, or a new unwrapped toy, or $5. There will be a big lighted tree in the lobby, lighted small trees throughout the Aquarium and three miles of lights outdoors. Guests will enjoy face painting, holiday music and a visit with Santa while parents snap photos. After visiting with Santa, guests can enjoy the sounds of music by the Coastalaires and the Central Coast Chorale. The gift shop will be open with holiday displays and gift ideas. In addition, a bake sale and children’s craft area will be offered.

The Sea of Lights will also offer visitors a final chance to see Swampland before it ends January 3, an exhibit that showcases three different types of swamps from the western hemisphere and the animals that live in them, including an American alligator, giant anacondas and a chance to “swim with the piranhas.”