“I enjoy Halloween a lot. It’s a fun holiday. The dressing up and the chance to get out in your community. Sometimes some of our parents at Badger Rock have just as much fun as their kids,” says Hedi Rudd, manager of First Impressions at Badger Rock Neighborhood Center on Madison’s south side.

Rudd and the Badger Rock Neighborhood Center, located on Madison’s south side just off Rimrock Road, have a lot of fun activities planned for their annual Halloween Headquarters event tonight from 4-7 p.m.

“This is the second year we are hosting this event and we’re really excited about it,” Rudd tells Madison365. “We have such amazing diversity here at Badger Rock and these Halloween events really are a chance to celebrate that. When we have an event here, it’s pretty much everybody coming from all walks of life. I really appreciate that.”

Superman makes an appearance at last year’s Badger Rock Halloween Headquarters

The Badger Rock Neighborhood Center is a hub of community activity and is located in an inviting space that hosts community events, group gatherings and classes where neighbors of all ages are encouraged to get to know one another. It is part of The Center for Resilient Cities, a Wisconsin-based nonprofit committed to revitalizing urban communities.

“We decided that the Halloween Headquarters would be a great place for children and families who might be coming from the Southdale neighborhood – families that might want to cross Rimrock [Road] – who would have a cool place to go and stop as they go to the houses in the neighborhood,” Rudd says. “I think it’s nice to have a warm place to come to with all kinds of cool activities. It makes it a little more equitable, too, because the other side of the street is all apartments and those aren’t as fun to trick or treat at.

Rockameem plays drums at last year’s Badger Rock Halloween Headquarters

“It’s good that people can come over and know that they have a home, a headquarters, a home base that they can hang out at,” Rudd adds.

The Halloween Headquarters event will be held in partnership with Badger Rock Middle School, a public charter school with an interdisciplinary, project-based learning program focused on environmental sustainability that is housed in the building where three-quarters of the students live in the nearby neighborhoods.

Badger Rock is also partnering with Frank Allis Elementary School. In fact, one of their teachers – DJ Justin – will be spinning music at Halloween Headquarters. Summit Credit Union will be sponsoring the event and will be springing for the pizza and snacks. Trick or Treat bags for the party are being donated by Madison Non-profit Day.

“The kids decorated our garden out here so there are like bones and Halloween stuff sticking out from the ground. There’s some haunted stuff out there that looks kinda cool,” Rudd says. “The kids really took ownership of that and they’ve been working for the past week or so. It really looks fantastic.”

Rudd says that beyond the Halloween Headquarters, she’s already looking forward to another signature Badger Rock Neighborhood Center event on Nov. 10 when they will host its annual Thanks for Giving Dinner.

“I’m really excited about that event coming up because of the band that will be playing – Julio Araujo’s three-piece band, Parces Trio. MGE will be sponsoring the band for us,” Rudd says. “I particularly chose this band because I saw them play at an LPA (Latino Professionals Association) event at the Madison Club and I loved them.

“We are really focusing on doing things to make sure that the Latino community knows that we are here and would love for them to come out to Badger Rock Thanks for Giving Dinner,” she adds. “We want to wrap our arms around them because it’s been a tough year with DACA and everything going on in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Texas, Florida. I just thought it would be great to send a message to the Latinx community from Badger Rock that we are here and we’re thinking about you.”

In the meantimes, Rudd is hoping for a big turnout at tonight’s Halloween Headquarters – a free and family friendly event. It’s a warm and friendly atmosphere for community members to enjoy tricks and treats with food and refreshments, a DJ, games and community.

“I’m hoping that we get a pretty good turnout tonight. I think that since we started partnering with Frank Allis, that the turnouts have been great,” Rudd says. “It’s good that the elementary school parents know that we are here for them, too.”

“Halloween Headquarters is open to everybody. It’s going to be fun,” she adds. “If it’s cold out, which it will be, it’s gonna be warm here and we’ll have plenty of food, music, friendship, and entertainment.”

The Badger Rock Neighborhood Center, 501 E Badger Road, will host their annual Halloween Headquarters event, 4-7 p.m.

Written by David Dahmer

David Dahmer

A. David Dahmer is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Madison365.