Halloween and the spirit of Seal Beach

Rhonda Berry, Jim and Terri Quinlan pose in front of the pumpkins.

The Seal Beach community of volunteers made this 2022 Halloween celebration into an extravaganza beyond anyone’s imagination.

The event was Jim Quinlan’s second year to complete an amazing display and his first year to invite volunteers to participate.

Jim Quinlan and his new next-door neighbor Rhonda Berry both like to celebrate holidays, so they created a plan, walked their neighborhood in early October, knocking on doors and inviting local residents to a pumpkin-carving event pre-scheduled on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 1 to 4 p.m.

About 40 volunteers of all ages showed up and created their masterpiece carvings.

Under Jim’s creative direction, his vision began to take shape. 

After resident carvings, and a few completed by Jim and Terri Quinlan, a total of 57 pumpkins were completed by Saturday evening.

Sunday morning began with carnival tents, backdrops, synchronized lighting, custom stands, and lots of hard work to be ready for Halloween trick-or-treaters on Monday’s big night.

While watching the Halloween excitement, 40-year resident Ray Allebaugh commented on the creative pumpkin patch:

“People will look at all this and think it was all Jim, but the story is that the pumpkins were created by the people of Seal Beach. Jim was the facilitator who brought the people together.

This creativity and volunteer participation really represents the spirit of Seal Beach!”

Last year Jim was not sure if a second year was possible, but after this group participation, the future looks bright.

Jim said: “It is a lot of hard work, but having volunteers to join in on the creativity really added to the excitement this year, and I thank everyone for the joy that volunteers brought to this year’s display, including my new neighbor Rhonda Berry with hundreds of hot-dogs, my mom Terri Quinlan, and my ‘all-hands-on-deck’ tech buddy and assistant Roland Molland.”

Several volunteers said they were just happy to meet their neighbors for the first time, and happy to be outside, crafting in the fresh air after Covid lockdown.