'Lights on After School' festival scheduled for Oct. 22

The Eight Annual Lights on After School Festival is being planned from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 22 at Bob Hart Square in Downtown Merced.

A costume contest will be held at 7 p.m. The event, which also includes live music, a student art gallery, a pumpkin patch and games, is being organized by the Merced County Office of Education with the City of Merced's parks and recreation department and Gottschalks Music Center.

The festival is part of a nationwide event to help raise awareness about the importance and need of after school activities for children.