Premier Halloween Haunt at the Preston Castle in Ione

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By Nolan Apostle
Contributing Editor
Event City Premier Magazine

Northern California’s premier Haunt is in a little town off the beat and path near the borders of Amador and Calaveras County. The town of Ione California is actually in Amador County and is the once home of wayward boys known as the Preston Home for Boys. Now known as the Preston Castle, it was built in 1894 as a facility to help lost boys who didn’t have a home or became too rambunctious to stay in their own homes. Officially, the facility was a reformatory school for boys to help them in their “rehabilitation”, whatever that might have been. It also became a state operated Educational facility for both Academics as well as a school to help build Trade or Vocational skills.

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In the 1930’s the building was condemned for not having a modernized fire protection system and earthquake retrofitting construction. In 1943 a state structural engineer deemed it unsafe in the event of a major earthquake. Finally in 1955 the last of the alumni of boys that lived there were moved out. In 1960 the building was completely vacated and set for demolition.

Around the same time a group of local citizens came together to do something about this piece of California history and needed to find a way to save the Preston Castle from being destroyed. Their approach was not just based off of the historic value of the property, but the fact that those in the town of Ione grew to love the Preston Property and considered it to be an Icon for the town. In 1961 the townspeople petitioned for it to NOT be torn down. It took years of work and political strife and after all of their hard work the town received a Historical Landmark Designation in the early 1970’s.

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Since then they have done what they could through private donations and an army of volunteers to keep Preston Castle alive and operational. Plenty of elbow grease and hard work went into the upkeep of the Castle property over the years to improve upon its overall care and upkeep, but it became a much larger project then anyone could imagine. As the work piled on this big project became larger and larger. After all, it is a Castle.

A few decades later the Preston Castle Foundation was formed and the real work began. They were granted a long term, 55 yr lease, to take care of the building. Then in November of 2014 the Preston Castle Foundation was deeded the adjacent 13 plus acres of property which of course became the entire “castle grounds” and a great spot for a Halloween Haunted house! The revenue from the haunt provides funds to help in the upkeep of the property throughout the year, but it is barely enough to keep it going. More fundraisers are happening every year and some of the facilities are available for special events and parties.

As a historical location and the overall backdrop the Preston Property could not be a more classic and perfect space for a true Halloween Haunt. That term “Halloween Haunt” is what those in the industry call locations created for scary Halloween Event experiences. The work and fortitude that goes into the Preston Castle to create this year’s haunt is easily determined by the massive staffing of organizers, producers, character actors, production crew, lighting, audio visual effects, costuming and much more. If there was a testament to any attraction’s success it would be the lines of patient revelers that would rival any Disneyland related popular ride, including their very own Haunted Mansion during the Disney Halloween Season. Some waited hours in the lines to walk through what some claim to be a “truly Haunted House.“ On this opening weekend the Haunt Attraction was a sell-out, good news for the Preston Castle Foundation, but it did make for the long lines, but everyone seem to be a great mood eagerly awaiting their first timid steps into this frightful ordeal.

Was the Preston Castle Haunt a top notch, Northern California Halloween experience? Not top notch, but it was good. Was it worth the wait and $20 (top ticket price) for the 45 minute to one hour experience? Absolutely! The army of volunteers was mostly kids to young adults who put this massive production together to help create what some called an “horrific nightmare experience” or in a more calmer tone, “a scary and fun way to celebrate the Halloween experience”.

Less than two hours from many parts of the SF Bay Area, the Preston Castle Haunt is a must attend to any Haunted House aficionado, or just someone who wants to have a great Halloween Haunt experience.  I’m sure if you have ever been on a team organizing and working a haunt you will surely appreciate the Preston Castle Experience and want to share many of your ideas with them to help the team make next year’s attraction even, bigger, better and of course much more scarier! HAPPY HALLOWEEN.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nolan-JVAinLANolan Apostle is a published Writer, Editor and Photographer originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. He has produced a countless amount of shows, projects, festivals, and many special events. He has managed many Halloween Haunts and once owned a production company housed in a 40,000 sf warehouse in Concord California of which about 25% was Halloween Haunt related props, sets and decoration pieces.  He is considered an expert in the field of Décor and Ambiance for special events, concerts, festivals, parties, the holidays and of course, Halloween.

 

MAKER FAIRE 2014 –YEAR OF THE MAKER

By Nolan Apostle
Producer, Contributing Editor and Photographer
Event City Premier Magazine

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What is the Maker Faire?  At the Event City Creative several of us have been big Maker fans over the years and this reporter has attended almost every year since its inception in 2006. Although I’ve missed a couple of years due to personal reasons, my conviction and dedication to the Maker Faire – DIY (Do It Yourself) genre, and the immense amount of creative talent, positive attitudes and eclectic inventive ideas on display at this event – well simply put, as the Rolling Stones would say, “Wild horses couldn’t drag me away”. I would have to be laid out on a gurney to miss another Faire again.

To give you a fair definition of this eclectic festival of talent is a most difficult task, but one that we sure had fun defining. After talking with hundreds of Makers and attendees over the years we have come up with what we believe defines the Bay Area Maker Faire:

“A Creative’s Disneyland rolled into a

Futuristic Music Festival of the Arts & Sciences.”

Well that’s one definition of Maker Faire. The festival itself defines it as “Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new”, whatever you might decide it is, Maker Faire is certainly a different type of edutaining, an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, tinkerers, inventors, crafters, educators, engineers, electronic wizards, science clubs, hobbyists, authors, artists, students, and even an interesting collection of commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come together at a Maker Faire event to show-off their wares, whatever they may be and to possibly help you learn more by sharing what they have learned.

Maker Faire launched in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006 as a tiny display of DIY enthusiasts demonstrating their ideas, inventions and creative projects. The interest and excitement of this genre, if you can even label it a “genre”, has done nothing but spiral into an incredible adventure where one can see and most importantly, experience, the entire Maker community first hand in all its glory. Last year at the San Mateo (San Francisco Bay Area) Maker Faire the crowds were spectacular and truly as gigantic as some of the displays at the Faire itself – over 120,000 attendees showed up over the weekend to take in this grand event – and most of those we spoke with said they would be returning without a doubt as long as the Maker Faire existed!

Wow! Can one believe the incredible growth of an event that offers such a wide array of experiences with a general ticket price ranging from $17.50 to $60.00? The popularity of the Maker Faire expanded greatly over a short time and soon took over the entire San Mateo Events Center within a few years. Now almost a decade into the sprawling event its legions of aspiring makers, educators, moms, dads, sons and daughters and many others come to participate in hands-on activities and learn new skills at the event. A record 195,000 people attended the two flagship Maker Faires in the Bay Area and New York in 2013, with 44% of attendees first timers at the Bay Area event, and 61% in New York. If you plan on going to the Faire here is some information to help you get there and around the San Mateo area. The Maker Faire is certainly family friendly – 50% attend the event with their children and many come from all parts of Northern California. Just last year alone there were 98 independently-produced Mini and Featured Maker Faires taking place around the world, including Tokyo, Rome, Santiago, and Oslo.

This years Maker Faire is expected to be the largest Maker Faire to date! Could it reach 150,000? Why is it so popular? Could it be that the event is primarily designed to be forward-looking showcase for Makers who are exploring new forms and new technologies. But the Faire is not just for those involved in technical fields; Maker Faire features innovation and experimentation across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance and craft.

The Maker Faire is an exciting and extremely entertaining event filled with an extremely diverse audience, and a fascinating, fun, curious mix of people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. It’s a venue for makers to show examples of their work and interact with an audience that can be just as eclectic as the makers themselves. All of this could be the result of the popularity explosion of this event, and as it continues to grow it will continue to present a tremendous opportunity for everyone who visits the Maker Faire; opportunities to learn, to grow, to walk away feeling real good about yourself, about your abilities to go out there and to do “something” regardless of what it might be. Some say it is an event that can easily become one’s obsession, as far fetched as that might be, it is an event that really does allow you to feel real good about yourself. Once you attend a Maker Faire one thing is certain, whether you become addicted to the eclectic fun and creative and inspirational atmosphere or not, you will come to appreciate the 950+ Makers displaying their projects and not only walk away learning something new, but truly, you will feel much better about yourself and that alone will urge you to return the following year for a whole different, but certainly just as positive, experience!

Maker Faire is brought to you by Maker Media.  Maker Media publishes MAKE magazine, produces Maker Faire, and offers DIY electronics, tools, kits, and books through its online and pop-up Maker Shed stores.

The Maker Faire Official App is available for iPhone and Android devices. You can download it here.
Event City is the new online Community for the Events & Creative Industries supporting the talent and projects within the Special Events, Hospitality, Music, Entertainment, Film and all Inventors and the full spectrum of the Arts. The Event City Creative Magazine is the online publication supporting Event City and the Event City Network. Event City launches in Q4 2014.

Here is a Maker Faire Sneak Peak for you:

Makerspace on Wheels: Building the Hackmobile

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http://makezine.com/2014/05/06/makerspace-on-wheels-building-the-hackmobile/

The “Ultimate Maker Vehicle” is revealed at Maker Faire on Saturday, May 17th, 2014

 

The Hypnotic Grooves of the Sand Noise Device

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This is what you get when you combine a box of sand with a Microsoft Kinect, an overhead projector, and a series of illuminated pucks?

 

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Test Your Skills at the Game of Drones Aerial Sports Competition

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The Game of Drones is announcing the launch of our their official drone sports competition at the San Francisco Bay Area Maker Faire, on May 17 and 18 at the San Mateo Fairgrounds. Check it out, this is pure, unadulaterated, MAKER FUN!!

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Game of Drones is excited to announce the launch of our official drone sports competition at Maker Faire Bay Area, taking place on May 17 and 18 at the San Mateo Fairgrounds. The Aerial Action Sports League (AASL) aims to be the premiere drone sports competition, showcasing pilot skills, engineering prowess, and technology innovation through aerial combat, flying obstacle courses, and other fun drone games.

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More to come on the Event City Creative Magazine.

BatKid Saves San Francisco as Event City Launches Music Channel “LetsPlay”

By Nolan Apostle
Producer, Contributing Editor and Photographer
Event City Premier Magazine

Let’s Play™ is a featured channel to debut in Q1 2014 on the Event City Network™ during the company’s Live Launch. It will allow Bands, Musicians and Performers to showcase their talents on Event City™ and other areas within the Event City family of websites. It will give all members of Event City the opportunity to see the great talent available through our Events & Creative Community Portal.

Here’s a sample of what Let’s Play is all about – a video and song written by San Francisco Songwriter, Jimi Shawndi, for MILES, the BATKID who stole the hearts of the world when Make-A-Wish Foundation asked him what he wished for, Miles replied, “I want to be Batman for a day”. So BatKid was born and transposed San Francisco into Gotham City! Take a listen to “IF I COULD FLY” Song for Miles and let us know what you think of this local musician’s work. Maybe it will be your song featured by Event City on Let’s Play!

To have your music and videos showcased in our pre-launch and to be included in this future project please send your request to our Music Channel Beta.

Enjoy and Let’s Play™!

 

MidnightSyndicate – The Rage movie sound track

Midnight Syndicate the original motion picture sound track The Rage – Lowest price on the internet! Listen to a sample from the Rage!

Now available Coolproducts . You will not find it any lower priced than this !Check out Van Helsings curse

Van Helsings curse sample. Dead matter sample.

“Only with great scores can you let your imagination wander when only listening to the music . . . ‘ The Rage’ soundtrack is one of those rare pieces of music where the sound defines the picture.” – Dread Central

“Midnight Syndicate has conjured up a terrifying score that will have you hanging onto the edge of your seat, even in it’s most subtle moments. All the releases that they have done before have been leading up to an album like this.” – Movement Magazine

“(They) expand the dynamic nature of their previous works to produce a huge, bombastic and intensely stimulating soundtrack, which is hauntingly majestic and deeply engrossing . . .immensely easy to get drawn deeply into the haunting keys, heavenly choral renditions, sporadic industrial noise, intensely pitch-black atmosphere and bittersweet melodies. . .Just the music alone is dynamic and menacing enough to make you jump and get your pulse racing, which is exactly what you want and expect from a soundtrack.

Invisible black light paint

It’s here!!!! Invisible UV Light (black light) paint.  We recently saw a demonstration of this product at a convention for the Special Events & Halloween industries. Sure, Black Lights are nothing new, some even consider them “Old School“, but wait till you see what this stuff can do!  The Invisible Black Light paint sprays or brushes on an invisible color coat of what seems to be just a clear paint, completely unrecognizable to the naked or “unassisted” eye; you absolutely cannot see a thing – NO Color.  Turn on your ultraviolet/black light, and this stuff comes to life!

If that’s too much to comprehend you can also apply it to your skin, face arms you name it. It is airbrush compatible too!  This is surely one of my favorite products so far, and I am really looking forward to decorating my house this halloween.  My kids are going to freak out!  Stay tuned for some pictures of the pad and others. Until then click on this link to buy some of your own and thanks for visiting!

Jeff@eventcity.net

Visit the Event City Cool Products Website for this and more unique merchandise for the Events & Creative Industries. If you are have any products that you would like to have us represent that you believe would sell well to the Events & Creative Industries membership, please send your inquiries to our New Products Manager.  To learn more about who the Event City industries are visit our Phase One Launch info page to grab a sneak peak at the details.

Event City Network to Offer WIRLBALL – Lighted Caps and SOFTWARE

Event City Products and the Marketplace Channel, Event City Emporium, which is currently in Alpha Test at their COOL PRODUCTS Site will feature the Wirlball and the Electro Caps as new products being introduced in the USA.

You can now sign up for the Company’s Beta Test at their main site – EVENT CITY.NET which will commence soon, or even contact them directly via their New WEB PHONE featured on their Creative Magazine.

“We hope to offer many different solutions for our Members, to help them learn more about technology, and to allow them to become more efficient and successful in their everyday business affairs”, exclaims Nolan Apostle, Founder & CEO of the Event City Network.

The company will commence their Beta launch in the Summer of 2008 and besides launching their Website Portal for the Events & Creative Industries, they also expect to offer a strong Software product for businesses who are serious about Planning Parties, Events, Meetings, Conferences, even Special Functions to Major Shows.

The company’s software will work partially as a back-end for the Event City Network, it will also be a powerful tool for planners who do everything from small events, meetings, or private parties all the way up the ladder to major Tradeshow Producers, Concert Promoters, Special Event Planners, even Festival Managers and Movie Industry Personnel. The initial software offer will most likely be a licensing deal which Event City Members can purchase with certain features and benefits depending on their objectives. Members will also receive a discount on purchase of the software product.

“We look forward to launching new products for our Members, it is exciting to be able to introduce them to new and unique merchandise they will use for their projects and to create a better overall ROI”, says Jeff Patino, Product Manager of the Halloween and Special Effects division. The company will also announce very soon some Strategic Alliances, special deals and promotions that are in the works.

Events, Meeting, and Hospitality Tradeshow Comes to Northern California

A boutique style industry trade show is coming to the heart of Silicon Valley next week and YOU’RE INVITED! All members of the Event City Network, and all Events & Creative Industry associates are welcomed to the Special Events & Business Mixer Expo at the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley on Thursday, May 29th, 2008 from 5:30pm – 8:30pm.

The event is produced by Michael Aguilera and is being sponsored by the EVENT CITY NETWORK as well as several other fine companies. The Daily News Group, InfoBayArea, Times Media Group and the WAVE Magazine:

This is a must attend event for all Special Event Planners, Meeting Managers, Corporate Planners & Buyers, Hospitality and Entertainment industry professionals. We expect an eclectic array of attendees as each of the Media Sponsor publcations cater to a different and unique audience of these professional industries.

If you are a professional or have a company that you would like to showcase to the industry, please contact Michael Aguilera, producer of the event. There is still some booth space available at only $345/space. Mr. Aguilera can be reached at either Office: 408.972.1985 or by emailing Mike Aguilera directly.

Any questions please contact Event City for participation at other levels. To get a sneak peak at some of the products Event City will have on display, please visit the Event City Emporium Blog.