By Adriana Lopez
The owners of Wicked Bootique, a family run boutique dedicated to Halloween and horror themed products, hosted the first annual Wicked Fest on August 5.
With over 50 vendors, a bar, a jumper for children and a photo op setup featuring Carrie in her bloody prom dress, Wicked Fest attracted hundreds of guests.
The event was held in San Bernardino inside of an events hall on Club Center Drive, and was free of charge to guests.
The location, free admission and parking, were details that the Luebs family carefully considered. Anthony Luebs, who oversees the operations side of the business, saw Wicked Fest as an opportunity to bring positive attention to San Bernardino.
“We’re definitely trying to bring a different perspective to the city of San Bernardino and prove that we can do good here, and we can put on these awesome events,” Luebs said.
Luebs not only wanted to prove to residents of San Bernardino that these events can be successful, but also wanted to show vendors that came from the Los Angeles and Orange County areas that San Bernardino is a profitable city to vend in.
As the building filled with attendees, vendors saw first hand that San Bernardino has a high population of Halloween and horror enthusiasts.
Among the vendors was Christina Smith, owner of Velvet Apparition, who came from Los Angeles to sell at the event. Smith’s shop is dedicated to Victorian and Halloween antiques, including ink pens, notebooks, stamps, wax candles and brass pieces.
Smith heard of the event through social media and signed up to be a vendor, hoping that it would introduce a different crowd to her work. As attendees surrounded Smith’s booth, it was clear her bargain paid off.
“I think the spooky community is really big and no matter where there is an event it will bring people,” Smith said.
With a wide variety of products ranging from antiques, handmade pumpkin purses, bat earrings, crystals in the shape of ghosts, bookmarks featuring Tim Burton characters and much more, the crowd of attendees had plenty of items to browse and shop through.
Wicked Fest being marketed as an event that would be fun for all ages brought out families, giving children a chance to discover their own spooky preferences.
Among the families was Alex Ferrini, who attended the event with his wife and two children. With purchases of backpacks, t-shirts and keychains for their children, Ferrini and his wife made the most of the opportunity to purchase unique items. Being from Fontana, Ferrini saw Wicked Fest as a close to home, fun opportunity for a family outing.
“Getting the community out is the best thing for the city, our kids need to see stuff like this,” Ferrini said.
As attendees went from booth to booth one thing became clear; San Bernardino is always ready for a spooky good time.