The Arc of Northern Virginia hosted its Halloween extravaganza, Arctoberfest, on Saturday, October 21, 2023 at the Columbus Club at The Knights of Columbus of Arlington. Over 250 people enjoyed the festivities and fun, which included a haunted house and graveyard, costume contest, photo booth, door prizes, face painting, a scavenger hunt, games, refreshments, and best of all, DJ music and dancing.

promo image for Arctoberfest event, featuring carved jack-o-lanterns in front of an orange sky, with a graveyard of tombstones in the distance.

This year, for the first time, Arctoberfest was also held during an Afternoon Session from 3:00-5:00 PM. This additional session was themed for the younger members of the family and those who wanted a less-intense Halloween party experience. Not only did they get to travel through the indoor “haunted display” and ghostly graveyard, but they visited our face painter and participated in a fun, interactive scavenger hunt. The audience included our younger members, and plenty of residential providers and group homes brought their residents to have a fantastic time.


Then, we turned up the spooky for the evening session at 6 pm, and offered a “sensory-friendly” hour to kick it off — to ensure that those with sensory sensitivities could join in the fun  — before turning down the lights and cranking up the party and dance music by DJ Garv from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. The dance floor was packed!


Other highlights this year included a costume contest in the afternoon and evening sessions. Great costumes were awarded with a Halloween sack full of candy to the best youth, adult and family/group costumes. We had a candy guessing contest with 1,230 M&M’s and 613 candy corns given to the closest guesses. We had a Lollipop pumpkin, pumpkin buckets ball toss, and the witches hat ring toss. To capture the event, pictures were taken at our Halloween themed photo booth and throughout the event.


Event Photos:          Afternoon Session           Evening Session



There are so many people to thank for making this event a success. First of all, thank you to our friends at the Columbus Club at The Knights of Columbus of Arlington for the use of your incredible facility. We would like to thank our amazing sponsors and volunteers, for which we could not have pulled off this event. We are especially grateful to Aaron, Cheryl and Olivia Johnson, who led a group of volunteers to create an outstanding haunted house and graveyard filled with animatronics and sound effects. Thank you to Anne Swift for the fabulous balloon arches and the popcorn. We thank our friendly businesses who donated door prizes: Fairfax Ace Hardware, Pupatella of Springfield, Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, Bowlero of Falls Church, Cinema Arts Theatres, University Mall Theatres, and The Auld Shebeen. Thank you to the Davis Career Center for catering our event with delicious treats. We thank our face painter, Dr. Melissa Sporn, and our DJ—DJ Garv. And last but not least, we thank our photographers, Conner Cummings (Afternoon Session) and Will Schermerhorn of Blueberry Shoes Productions LLC (Evening Session) for the fantastic pictures.


We have been fortunate to have the support of generous businesses, corporations, organizations, families, and individuals who help ensure that this signature event is a delight for the individuals and families we serve — and helps further our vital programs and services. Thank you for a wonderful day!


We look forward to the next Arctoberfest in 2025 and hope to see you there.


Laura Allen

Special Events Manager

The Arc of Northern Virginia

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