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Harvest, Halloween events for every taste
by MATTHEW NASH
Mondays are scary enough but Halloween, the scariest holiday of all, also happens to start the week this year. The calendar placement isn’t stopping the celebrations among local groups. The calendar of events should satisfy both those who just want to enjoy the harvest season and those looking for a haunting evening of trick-or-treating.
Sequim Halloween traditions continue
The 33-acre Pumpkin Patch, at the corner of Kitchen-Dick Road and U.S. Highway 101, continues to offer a family atmosphere and some scares for the excitable older crowd.
Amanda Lawton, manager of the Pumpkin Patch, said they try to make it a family environment with multiple offerings.
“We encourage parents to come here with their kids rather than go to the store because it’s more of an experience to go out and pick,” Lawton said. “For many it’s a family tradition. We see thousands of kids a year.”
U-pick pumpkins remain a big draw along with the straw and corn mazes, an array of animals and the pay-to-play Pumpkin Shoot where people try to sling pumpkins into a barrel for a $100 prize. Lawton said 10 people won last year, but only two so far this year.
Continuing for a second year starting at 7 p.m. this Friday and Saturday is the patch’s haunted house, dubbed the Hack Shack. Lawton’s brother Eric designed the converted mobile home with an extra large room.
They’ve received lots of compliments on the Hack Shack, Lawton said, including people who walk up to the front door, shake their heads in fear and turn around. It’s recommended that children under the age of 12 be accompanied by a parent.
Two more yearly traditions are sponsored by Sequim High School and by local merchants. Sequim High School’s “Haunted Hallways” runs from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, in H-building.
Children are encouraged to wear costumes to the high school and play free games to win prizes.
On the same day, the downtown merchants host trick-or-treating from 3-5 p.m. along Washington Street. Children may visit local businesses for candy.
Churches host harvest festivals
For a lighter evening of fall celebration, many area churches host wholesome harvest carnivals and events in their sanctuaries or parking lots.
Dave Dilley, co-organizer for Faith Lutheran Church’s Hallow’d Eve Harvest Festival, from 5-7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31, said the church has been doing the event a long time.
“Whoever wants to come can come,” Dilley said.
The event offers free food and candy, games and a live performance by the Olympic Mountain Cloggers.
Dilley said church-friendly costumes are welcome and the event doesn’t have religious overtones.
King’s Way Foursquare Church brings back its annual event — “The Bash” — from 5-8 p.m. also on Oct 31.The event includes games, a rock-climbing wall, free food and candy and pony rides. Chris Goff, executive assistant, said last year 1,000 people attended and this year the church has booked contemporary Christian rock band The Exchange starting at 7 p.m. (small admission fee).
Check with your local church about harvest events.
New this year — Port Angeles zombified
In a change of pace for the living and the dead, Port Angeles Community Playhouse presents three nights of zombie mayhem called “Wait for the Blackout.”
The 3-D zombie horror theater experience, written and directed by Max Mania, is at 8 p.m. Oct. 28-30, in the Playhouse, 1235 E. Lauridsen Blvd.
Mania said the show is set in the dark, with a lot of things bumping, banging and biting.
“The action will literally surround the auditorium, making for a unique and spooky theatrical experience,” he said. “It’s meant to feel like you are in the heart of the event.”
Mania told the Gazette he converted his screenplay to recreate a B-movie feeling for the stage.
“It’s like a lot of basic zombie films,” he said. “Close to ‘Night of the Living Dead.’ You have a group of people in the building, trapped, getting picked off one-by-one. It generally doesn’t go well for the living.”
Actress Kate Carter said when she first read the script, she “got creeped out.”
Mania said his play has been well regarded by a number of visitors to rehearsals, but the performance probably most appeals to teenagers and college students.
“Ideally, we’re always looking for new, young people coming to the theater,” he said.
Admission is $10 per person, and the show is not suitable for those under 13 years of age. Audience members are encouraged to wear costumes and horror DVDs will be awarded as door prizes.
Reach Matthew Nash at email@example.com.