A Smashing Good Time

On Nov. 2, combine community service with post-Halloween fun at the first annual Jack-O-Smash 5000 and Family Fun Festival, hosted at Sportsplex USA in Poway. The day will be packed with sports, food, and entertainment for all ages. Check-in begins at 7 a.m., with the opening ceremony and a three-airplane flyover at 7:45 a.m. After that are a 5K run and 1K walk/jog for all levels of athletes and amateurs. The Family Fun Festival will begin at the end of the race.

Free activities at the festival include bounce houses, live music, an adoptable petting center, a Pumpkin Trebuchet, and a 16-foot-tall Pumpkin Plinko Game. Bring your own left-over Jack-O-Lanterns for creative disposal. BBQ lunch will be available for purchase, as well as beverages in the beer garden. There will be a celebrity softball game with the Gold Medal-winning Poway Padres Special Olympic Softball team at 11:30 a.m. Families who need a break from the louder festivities will also be able to relax in a designated quiet zone.

All proceeds benefit two local nonprofits dedicated to serving young people with special needs. The PoVa Therapeutic Riding Center offers equestrian activities for special needs children and young adults. Next Stage U is a proposed facility for post-secondary education for young adults. “I’m so pleased that we as a community can come together with our families and friends to enjoy a fun-filled day, while helping our neighbors and their loved ones with special needs,” said Race Director Ginger Couvrette.