Vanessa Phillips kept trying to take a picture of her son, John Waters, Saturday as he sat in a helicopter car waiting for the ride to begin.
But the 7-year-old, wearing a black skeleton T-shirt, kept turning to see who was in the helicopter behind him, and looking at the steering wheel above his head as he turned it to make the propellers move.
Finally, as the ride jolted to life, Waters looked at his mother and grinned.
Phillips has attended the Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee every year since she was a little girl.
“We love it,” she said.
The annual festival included arts and crafts, live music, games, a cornhole tournament and a barbecue cookoff, which was staged behind Jackson Square.
The children’s rides were moved to Buena Vista Avenue, closing it off between Georgia and West avenues.
“It’s nice being able to have the children’s area right here, and having the other activities kind of separated. It’s a lot nicer that way,” she said.
At 1 p.m., tiny werewolves, genies, Grim Reapers and a Little Red Riding Hood took the stage for a costume contest.
Leyla Ziolkowski, 11, her sister, Brooke Jennings, 4, and their cousins Blakelyn and Khloe Ray, ages 8 and 2 respectively, filled bottles with colored sand at the sand art tent.
“We went over and got our face painted. Then we went over to where the games are, and rode some rides and everything. And we’re doing the sand art. And we were shopping around here,” Ziolkowski said.
The shopping was her favorite part of the day.
She found some necklaces made of bottlecaps that she really wanted. They’re painted and strung from ribbons.
They’re the creation of Patty Oldham, owner of All About Buttons.
Oldham sets up at festivals at least twice a month and has been setting up a booth at the Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee for 14 years.
She likes that it’s easy to get in and out of. The weather is usually good, and because the street portion of the festival ends at 4 p.m., it leaves her enough time to enjoy her Saturday evenings.
“It’s an easy little Satur-day,” she said.