Family fun at Arlington's Hometown Halloween

Austin Kaminski was carted around as a “little pumpkin” for Halloween in downtown Arlington last year. - File Photo
Austin Kaminski was carted around as a “little pumpkin” for Halloween in downtown Arlington last year.
— image credit: File Photo

ARLINGTON — Arlington’s Hometown Halloween celebration promises to offer familiar favorites and new attractions this year on Oct. 30.

City of Arlington Recreation Coordinator Sarah Higgins explained that the Downtown Arlington Business Association started the annual event which has returned to Olympic Avenue so many times that she admitted she couldn’t even remember when it started.

Arlington Hardware will once again be sponsoring the pumpkin decorating contest. Carvers can drop off and register their pumpkins at 215 N. Olympic Ave. Oct. 29 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Oct. 31 from 7-10:30 a.m. The pumpkins will be judged at 11 a.m. Oct. 30, and a drawing to win a bicycle will be open to all entrants at 11:30 a.m.

Last year’s contest drew 64 entries, well off from their record of nearly 90 pumpkins, but still one of their better showings.

“They were extremely talented,” said Karen Ricketts, who had judged the event since it started, even though she can’t remember how many years ago that was.

Trick-or-treaters of all ages will be able to hit up participating businesses on Olympic Avenue for candy and other goodies from noon to 1 p.m. Oct. 30, during which time the Arlington City Hall parking lot will also serve as the staging grounds for a “Trunk-or-Treat.”

“Many of the merchants like to dress up their stores and themselves for the occasion,” Higgins said.

Those who dress up to show their seasonal spirit will have another opportunity to be rewarded for it during the costume contests for kids and adults alike, starting at 1 p.m. in Legion Park, located at 114 N. Olympic Ave.

“We welcome all comers to the costume contest,” Higgins said. “It’s divided up into all sorts of different age groups, and judges will be handing out certificates to the winners and ribbons to all the kids who enter.”

The Arlington Arts Council is sponsoring the contest and supplying prizes for the winners.

Higgins estimated that last year’s costume contest had more entrants than a number of previous years, in spite of gray skies and a cold drizzle that persisted throughout the day.

Come rain or shine, the Arlington Lifeway Foursquare Church will return to the First Street hill to sponsor the “Great Pumpkin Roll” once again, with registration starting at 1:30 p.m. and the competition itself commencing at 2 p.m. Last year’s pumpkin roll drew so many competitors that, even after grouping them by age, the final group nearly stretched the width of First Street, to bowl their mini-pumpkins into waiting plastic tubs and receive their candy prizes.

This year also marks the start of a new set of activities at the Arlington United Methodist Church, located at 338 McLeod Ave. From noon to 3 p.m., the church will host bouncy houses and a funhouse in its parking lot, and a “Harvest Party” in its basement.

Higgens said, “The Hometown Halloween has continued to grow a little bit each year, in both attendance and attractions.”

For more information, call the city of Arlington at 360-403-3448.

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