As a kid, he’d go to horror movies with his dad, craft with his mom, and make Halloween costumes with brother. (He even got hauled into the principal’s office for bringing an actual sword to school while dressed as a ninja.)
“For me personally, it was my favorite holiday growing up,” Moreno says.
He still has that same passion for the holiday, not to mention anything of the spooky variety. Hence the reason behind Cult Classics, the ongoing film series he puts on that often features horror and thriller flicks.
“My house is pretty much horror movies and toys year-round, down to having a mini jack o’lantern on my monitor,” he says.
Moreno’s love of All Hallows Eve also inspired him to create Monster Market, the Halloween-themed arts and cultural celebration that makes its debut this weekend.
The one-day event on Saturday, October 7, at the Moxy Hotel in Tempe will feature a curated selection of 17 vendors and artists from around Arizona, many offering wares of a crafty and arty variety that fit in with the spirit of Halloween. There will also be special guests, including historian Marshall Shore and the Phoenix Ghostbusters, who will present workshops or talks about Halloween-related topics.
Appropriately enough, Moreno will also screen the 1987 teenybopper vampire flick The Lost Boys at the Moxy’s pool after darkness falls.
Moreno says there were many reasons why he launched the event.
“Monster Market is way to create this niche community driven event showcasing some great local artists and businesses themed around Halloween, which inspires great visuals and creativity,” he says.
He also wanted to highlight local artists.
“Part of the reason why we have been wanting to do an event like Monster Market is [to spotlight] a lot of the artists and vendors doing cool and unique businesses and art based in the Phoenix area,” Moreno says. “Local businesses and artisans are a big part of what sustains big events and conventions, and, more often than not, they don't get enough of a spotlight.”
Plus, he just figured it would be a good time.
“It's also a big inclusive Halloween party that ties in horror movies, Ghostbusters, and all the fun and spooky influences we grew up with,” he says. “It’s something I would've loved to attend as a teenager.”
Here’s what to expect from the event.
When and Where: Monster Market will take place on Saturday, October 7, at the Moxy Hotel, 1333 South Rural Road in Tempe. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The poolside screening of The Lost Boys starts at 8:30 p.m.
Prices: General admission to Monster Market is $20. There are also a variety of VIP packages available, each with different perks. The $30 "spooky ticket," for instance, features admission plus entry into a prize raffle, while the $40 "scary ticket" features all of that plus a commemorative poster, a T-shirt, and admission to The Lost Boys. There's also the "fearsome ticket" for $50 and "fright ultimate ticket" for $100.
If you'd just like to see The Lost Boys, however, it's $10 per person.
Info regarding all of the admission packages can be found here.
Age Limits: It’s an all-ages event and families are encouraged to attend.
Getting There: The Moxy is located at Rural Road and Apache Boulevard in Tempe. A Valley Metro light rail station is located right next door and will run you $2 for a single ride or $4 for an all-day pass.
Parking: The hotel will offer complimentary parking to event attendees. If there are no spaces available, a Valley Metro park and ride lot is located a few light rail stops way on Apache Boulevard.
Vendors: According to Moreno, the exhibitor room will offer a total of 17 local businesses and vendors. The lineup will features stores like Zia Record Exchange, artists like Chadwick Haverland and Blake Edwards, and apparel makers like Sweet Midnight and Modified Minds.
Others who are scheduled to vend at the event include House of Freaks, Severin Films, Sisters Selling Stuff, Starfighters Arcade, Retro Halloween Decor, Moto Glass, Desert Henna Company, Gotham City Comic Collectibles, Bonefied, and Theater Works of Peoria.
Moreno says there will also be exclusives for sale. "Zia is bringing a curated selection of horror soundtracks and memorabilia and Gotham City is bringing a curated selection of retro-style masks, collectibles and life-size movie prop reproductions from Creepshow and other films."
Programming and Events: As you’d expect, the various workshops and activities taking place at Monster Market will be of a spooky, scary, and Halloween-themed bent. Local historian Marshall Shore will discuss the Winnie Ruth Judd murder house, for example, and the members of the Phoenix Ghostbusters will explain how to make and cast props.
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The staff of Theater Works of Peoria will conduct a zombie makeup demo and Geeks Who Eat will show folks how to put on a big Halloween spread of food and drinks.
“So you're learning about these notable things and groups in Phoenix and at the same time being entertained,” Moreno says. “We've really made an effort to [cover] a lot of ground so there's something for everyone.”
Costumes: It’s a Halloween event, so costumes of every shape, size, and style are encouraged. A contest will also take place during the day and will offer trophies for such categories as the scariest, cutest, most original, and best movie-inspired get-ups.
What to Bring: A love of all things Halloween, for starters, as well as cash for the vendors (just in case they don't take plastic), a backpack or other bag to carry your stuff, a fully charged phone, and a camera.