Gravestones and ghosts, bats and bones, pumpkins, spiders and creepy creatures galore invaded the houses and yards of Toluca Lake throughout the month of October, demonstrating why the neighborhood continues to be a destination for trick-or-treaters and a prime place to revel in the spooky season.
For the seventh year in a row, the Toluca Lake Halloween House-Decorating Contest sponsored by Tina Smith Homes added an element of friendly competition to the festivities, inspiring many residents to even greater heights of imaginative artistry and encouraging everyone to get in on the fun, whether through decorating, nominating and voting on their favorite displays, or using the list of entries as a guide to some of the best spots for scary sights. The 24 participating homes featured dramatic décor ranging from humorous to horrifying, including skeletons enjoying a day at “Bonehaven Beach,” pop-culture skeletons like “Terror Swift” and “Barbie Q’d,” a musical “DJs de los Muertos,” scenes of punk-rock werewolves and sinister clowns, and a tropical “Freaky Deaky Tiki” theme.
Haig Youredjian and Greg Weaver captured the best-in-show honors for their Navajo Avenue home’s stunning display, which included lifelike homages to The Nightmare Before Christmas and Beetlejuice. Also on Navajo, Bob and Cindy Wexler’s home was voted most creative for its retro alien theme featuring a crashed UFO, towering spacemen, skeletal spiders and even a cameo from Yoda. The award for the spookiest display went to Valerie, Chris, Theresa and Trenton Ofstad, who created a teeming tableau of skeletons on Ledge Avenue doing everything from playing cards to shooting hoops to climbing trees. And last but not least, the Forman Avenue home of Michael and Gabby Bolten was chosen as the cutest entry for its enchanting, faithfully detailed Harry Potter theme, with quidditch goals on the roof, the brick-wall entrance to Diagon Alley, and the Hogwarts Express emerging at Platform 9¾.
Toluca Lake Halloween Bike Ride
Ghouls, monsters and skeletons pedaled down the streets of Toluca Lake on October 22 during the Halloween bike ride organized by the Toluca Lake Homeowners Association and sponsored by Tina Smith Homes. Starting in the parking lot behind Logix Federal Credit Union on Riverside Drive, nearly 30 community members, sporting their eeriest costumes, biked all around the neighborhood, including riding past many of the residences entered in Smith’s annual Halloween House-Decorating Contest. After the ride, the group gathered at Smith’s office on Riverside Drive for a monster mash party with plenty of sweet treats.