SMOKEY POINT — While a number of Halloween-themed community events will kick off during the weekend before Halloween itself, the Downtown Marysville Merchants Association will be commemorating Halloween on Oct. 31.
From 4-5:30 p.m. that Wednesday, participating merchants on Third Street will dress up for the occasion and hand out candy to trick-or-treaters for free.
“It’s great for kids who are toddlers up to 10 years old, and their folks,” said Mary Kirkland, owner of Hilton’s Pharmacy on Third Street. “You don’t have to line up in any particular order, either. Just come on by and enjoy.”
Kirkland noted that a number of businesses on Fourth and Second streets, the latter including The Vintage Violet, will also be taking part in the afternoon’s activities, during which time she expects to see several of her fellow merchants following her example by donning their own costume finery to greet the children in the spirit of the holiday.
“The event is always fun and casual, with lots of darling young children and their families on the sidewalks, some out for their first Halloween trek,” Kirkland said. “At Hilton’s, we’re even going with a theme this year, but we’re keeping it under wraps until the big day.”
Kirkland advised trick-or-treaters that they might also find some candy on the west side of State Avenue, just across the intersection from Third Street.
The Cottages of Marysville will be participating in the Marysville Care Center’s annual “Trick-or-Treat Street,” which also takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 31. Enterprising trick-or-treaters who still feel like filling up on candy after visiting Third Street can swing by the Marysville Care Center at 1821 Grove St. from 6-7:30 p.m. for their haunted house, games and more.
A full day of events is scheduled in downtown Arlington the Saturday before Halloween.
The annual pumpkin carving contest will be held at Arlington Hardware & Lumber, located at 215 N. Olympic Ave. Contestants are encouraged to drop off their decorated pumpkins and register on Friday, Oct. 26, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Saturday, Oct. 27, from 7-10:30 a.m. Judging of the pumpkins will take place on Oct. 27 at 11 a.m., with a drawing for a bicycle from all entries at 11:30 a.m.
The Arlington High School Fright Choir is holding a Zombie fundraiser breakfast at Hubbs Pizza. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased from AHS choir members or via email at email@example.com. The zombie choir will sing in the plaza at the Arlington City Hall at noon on Oct. 27.
The Downtown Arlington Business Association is sponsoring the annual pumpkin pie contest. Bring your homemade specialty pumpkin pies to the gazebo at Legion Park, located at 114 N. Olympic Ave., from 11 a.m. to noon on Oct. 27. Winners will be announced at 12:30 p.m. and prizes will be awarded for the winning pieces.
Arlington United Church is hosting a “Harvest Party” on Oct. 27 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The church is located just east of Olympic Avenue, at 338 N. McLeod Ave. The free events include a bouncy house, a fun house, a rummage sale and games. For more information, log onto www.auc1.org.
DABA is also sponsoring trick-or-treating along Olympic Avenue, at participating businesses, that Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. At the same time, Lifeway Foursquare Church is hosting “Trick or Trunk” in the Arlington City Hall parking lot. A costume contest will follow at Legion Park at 1 p.m., with prizes provided by the Arlington Arts Council.
Special guests “The Pirates of Treasure Island” invite you to visit their pirate ship that same day near Legion Park. The pirates will be judging the costume contest and will also be hosting a benefit with the Arlington Kiwanis Club for Kids’ Kloset and the Arlington Community Food Bank. Please help by bringing a pair of new children’s shoes and food items for the Food Bank. The pirates will be available for visits from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The “Great Pumpkin Roll” is making another comeback, with Lifeway Foursquare Church sponsoring the event. Bring your pumpkin and register at the top of First Street Hill at 1:30 p.m. The roll starts at 2 p.m. and all ages are welcome.
The Arlington “Zombie Walk,” which made its debut last year, is back this year. Zombies will meet up at the parking lot near Julie’s Styling, located at 413 N. Olympic Ave. Zombies can pay $5 to participate in the walk. At 3 p.m., the zombies will travel south on Olympic Avenue and congregate at Legion Park. Once the shamble reaches its conclusion at Legion Park, there will be a judging for the best zombie. The winner will receive a $25 gift certificate from Fogdog Gallery. For more information, log onto www.fogdoggallery.com.
That evening, the Mirkwood Shire Café at 117 E. Division St. is staging its fourth annual “Zombie Ball” at 7 p.m., with tickets running $10 each. The Linda M. Byrnes Performing Arts Center will conduct a Halloween concert and costume contest of its own that same evening from 3-5 p.m, with their tickets priced at $10 per person or $35 per family. The music will be provided by Voices of the Village.
The Arlington High School Future Farmers of America will also get into the Halloween spirit with a “haunted house” on Oct. 26-27, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. on both days, in the AHS greenhouse. Adults pay $5, while kids 12 years and younger pay $3.
For more information about these events in Arlington, please call the recreation office at 360-403-3448 or log onto www.facebook.com/arlingtonwa.
The Marysville Rotary’s “Pumpkins for Literacy” pumpkin patch, at the Plant Farm at Smokey Point, will likewise run through Halloween, to give local families a chance to pick up their choice of jack-o’-lanterns. Their pumpkin patch is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with pumpkins priced by size. Field trips to the Plant Farm at Smokey Point can be scheduled through Toni Mathews at the Marysville branch of the Whidbey Island Bank, by phone at 360-657-3100 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Plant Farm is located at 15022 Twin Lakes Ave. in Marysville, and is online at www.theplantfarm.com.
Third-generation farmer Gary Biringer and his wife Julie have replaced the former Biringer Farm Pumpkin Patch with the Black Crow Pumpkin Patch, located at 2431 Highway 530 in Arlington. Their pumpkin patch is open daily through Halloween, from noon to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, from noon to 9 p.m. on Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Visitors can bring family and friends to picnic in the old covered wagon, while kids can enjoy a hay bale maze, a slide and a skeleton graveyard. Free wagon rides will take visitors to the patch’s “you-pick” pumpkins, as well as its decorative gourds, corn stalks, fresh apple cider and crisp apples. Tours can be arranged by appointment by calling 360-435-5616. For more information, you can “like” the Biringers’ Black Crow Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze on Facebook at www.facebook.com/biringers.black.crow.
Foster’s Produce and Corn Maze, located at 5818 Highway 530 NE in Arlington, is also welcoming visitors through Wednesday, Oct. 31. The giant pumpkin patch will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For more information, log onto www.fosterscornmaze.com or www.facebook.com/pages/Fosters-Produce-Corn-Maze.