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Hillyard scares up Halloween fun

Children dressed up in costumes Oct. 30 at the Hillyard Howl, a neighborhood Halloween celebration.  (Pia Hallenberg)
Children dressed up in costumes Oct. 30 at the Hillyard Howl, a neighborhood Halloween celebration. (Pia Hallenberg)

Kids and adults were having a howling good time all Halloween weekend in Hillyard. The Historic Hillyard Merchants Association put on the Hillyard Howl featuring apple bobbing, costume contests and vendors at an empty storefront on North Market Street. Some local vendors were there, too, and there was a great bake sale.

The Hillyard Howl is just one of a number of community events and festivals that take place in this north Spokane neighborhood.

The next big event is Girls Day Out on Nov. 13, a neighborhood shopping event celebrated at the same time in four Spokane neighborhoods: Hillyard, East Sprague (the International District), Garland and North Monroe. The event caters to female shoppers with special deals, games, prizes and events.

Posted on Tuesday: The Hillyard blog will be at the Historic Hillyard Merchants Committee Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m. and stick around for the meeting. Stop in and say hello – the cinnamon rolls can be recommended.

The blog is always looking for Hillyard businesses, nonprofits and organizations who’d be interested in hosting it for a few hours on a Wednesday or Friday morning. Do you have any suggestions? Who’s doing a good job in the neighborhood? Let me know – send an e-mail to

Posted on Oct. 27: The Spokane Police Department received nearly 70 reports of stolen ’80s and ’90s Hondas between Oct. 19 and this weekend. Over the weekend 10 arrests were made and 50 of the stolen vehicles were recovered. That’s great news for the owners, obviously, but also a reminder to always lock your car. Also, the Spokane Police Department would like to remind owners of Toyotas and Hondas in the late ’80s and early ’90s range that these vehicles are especially desirable for local thieves. If you own such a vehicle make sure you lock it and consider adding a car alarm or another anti-theft device.

Posted on Oct. 27: (notes from the weekly meeting of the Historic Hillyard Merchants Association)

The merchants are getting ready for the arrival of Santa. His chair is getting “spiffed up” and some other preparations are under way. The Hillyard North Pole location is not 100 percent certain yet – but don’t worry, it will be ready by Christmas.

The Merchants Association is getting behind a letter to the city and the Spokane Police Department about getting more police coverage in Hillyard, especially in the hours between midnight and 3 a.m. It looks like the letter will be petition style, so businesses and neighbors can sign it. Everyone agreed that the more signatures the better. Stay tuned for updates.

Businesses were encouraged to keep their sidewalks clean, especially for cigarette butts. It’s difficult to find a solid outdoor ashtray that people don’t destroy or knock over and go through, looking for butts.

There is another issue with people looking through the Dumpsters and trash cans in Hillyard. There was consensus at the meeting that some of these people look for paperwork and receipts, and business owners were reminded to shred everything before they throw it out. Several of these trash can roamers have been caught on the businesses’ surveillance cameras.

A committee for next year’s parade and festival is already being established. Next year is the 100th year of the festival and parade. One question is how to get children and young people more involved in the festival, possibly a baseball game with the Indians? Hot rod rides could be offered to some of the kids.

Some business owners are concerned that business is kind of slow – one question was how to get shoppers to stick around for longer, during the various events that are hosted by the neighborhood.

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