By Sarah Schrock
I love Halloween. The Methow Valley Senior Center’s Halloween Sale collection is pretty well picked through, but if you are still looking to add a little flare, or pick up some whacky accoutrement to finish off your costume, it’s worth a look-through. Especially if your costume needs some black, there’s an entire rack left of blackish garbs to get spooky in. I love this sale. Each year I re-supply our costume kitty that gets used year-round.
Did I mention I love Halloween? While Burgar Street is where the bulk of trick-or-treating action is each year, there are other traditions worthy of mention. The Community Covenant Church hosts the annual Trunk or Treat tailgate affair for families who want an earlier night for little ones, a less-frightful scene, or a gentle warm-up for the serious trick-or-treating business that engulfs Burgar Street.
Kids can trick-or-treat down an aisle of vehicles decorated for Halloween where they receive candy and play games like fishing and ring tosses. John Deere tractor train rides and hot cider are all free at the event that runs 5–6:30 p.m. Following Trunk or Treat, there’s a Harvest Carnival from 6–8 p.m. at the Cascade Bible Church.
Besides the zombies and ghouls lurking in dark corners to keep you affright, if you are a parent with a child with severe food allergies or dietary restrictions, Halloween can be an even scarier night. However, there’s a national movement afoot to help families keep the tradition alive and safe.
The Teal Pumpkin Project is a movement to offer non-food treats for kids with allergies or food restrictions. Sponsored by the national organization Food Allergy Research and Education, the project promotes the donning of a teal-colored pumpkin (or a poster you can print and display on your front door) to signify that your house offers non-food treat options. Participants can register their homes on a national database so families seeking non-food treats can find a safe place for their kids to trick or treat.
I became aware of this program through friend of mine whose two daughters have life-threatening nut allergies. If there’s a teal-colored pumpkin at the house, it means there’s a non-food treat offered. These might include stickers, tattoos, pencils, bracelets, play-dough, crayons or light sticks. It gives parents some peace of mind while allowing kids to participate in the tradition.
A plus to this tradition is that the treats are non-perishable, so one bucket of stickers can last many years. Also, some kids and parents might prefer an alternative to the sweets. So if you are a Burgar Street resident or in another neighborhood that receives trick-or-treaters, consider participating. Information can be found at the FARE website, www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project. Oh and by the way, Burgar Street residents will gladly accept donations (candy or non-food) for their treat buckets (all the treating can get pricey).
Another tradition to minimize the sugar binge is the “Switch Witch.” This home-based tradition is akin to the “Tooth Fairy,” and by the way very much supported by the Tooth Fairy, who promotes good oral health. Here’s how it works: a child sets their candy out on Halloween Night or the nights thereafter and the “Switch Witch” comes and trades it out for money or a special gift. Say bye-bye to the sweets and hello to something else. The Switch Witch can customize the trade-out in any way she sees fit.
Who said Halloween was for kids anyway? If you are like me, you relish the anonymity and creativity that costumes offer. Explore your alter ego perhaps, be something or someone new, or embrace your dark side for the night. Saturday (Oct. 29) at the Twisp Valley Grange is a 21-and-older Halloween party. Sure to be a wickedly wild night, the adult-only party will feature a DJ and a cash bar for so-called grownups who can’t resist dressing up. But please, no Creepy Clowns, and make sure to appoint a designated driver.