ALAMEDA -- To get Alamedans into the spirit of Halloween, the West Alameda Business Association and partnering groups are hosting a pumpkin patch at Webster Street and Pacific Avenue from Oct. 19-30.

At the event, kids can run around and help pick out the perfect family pumpkin. In addition, groups of students from nearby schools and business volunteers will sell special treats to visitors for fundraising. There will also be a pumpkin-carving class and other special activities on tap.

"This is the first year for us to do a pumpkin patch, and Halloween is always a popular event on Webster Street," said Patricia Young, manager of the West Alameda Business Association. "We wanted to help stage an event that would bring school groups and business volunteers together and really involve the community."

Schools will sell treats like Halloween-themed brownies, cookies and cupcakes, as well as arts and crafts at the pumpkin patch. Participating schools include the Academy of Alameda, College of Alameda, Encinal High School, Nea Community Learning Center, Paden Elementary School and Wood Middle School.

Community members who drop by the pumpkin patch on Oct. 26-27 and then visit the nearby Pacific Pinball Museum in a "haunted Halloween" costume will enjoy two free hours of playtime. (Admission to the museum is $5.)

Pet store Under One Woof, in cooperation with the pinball museum, is hosting an afternoon pet costume contest on Oct. 27. And on Oct. 30, there will be a pie-tasting contest and school fundraising competition. Community members are invited to go trick-or-treating along Webster on Halloween.

"Kids of all ages are welcome at the West End Pumpkin Patch, and there is no admission fee," said Hiroko Donovan, a co-owner of 1400 Bar & Grill and volunteer chair of the event. "We are glad that local schools have the opportunity to fundraise with us. We really want to use this event as a great way for everyone to build community connections. The businesses are excited."

Some merchants and other organizations partnering with the schools are 1400 Bar & Grill, Chi Cha Bistro, Wes Café, Bladium, Alameda Recreation & Parks Department, Aria Bakery, Pacific Pinball Museum and Under One Woof.

IF YOU GO
What: West End Pumpkin Patch
When: 3:30 to 7 p.m., Mondays to Fridays; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays, from Oct. 19-30
Where: Corner of Webster Street and Pacific Avenue
Cost: Free