Even though it’s not one of the big holidays (meaning one for which workers are excused from going to work and children stay home from school), Halloween has gained the stature of Major Holiday for many.
Simply, it’s one big party. An excuse for adults to dress up (meaning dress strangely, not dress nicely) and have fun late into the night. No, this holiday is no longer relegated to the status of kid stuff.
And, unlike the Fourth of July, say, or Thanksgiving, it seems OK to celebrate Halloween the weekend before and on through the week to the actual scary night. And, a lot of the haunted houses have already opened and seen long lines of adults and children come through the doors just waiting to be frightened.
So, let the fun begin. To that end, we’ve compiled some of the official parties around the area for adults as well as children. Some are this weekend, others are on Halloween, so make note of the actual day of the event listed so you don’t miss a beat.
A kids Halloween Party, sponsored by the Spokane Parks and Recreation Department and the Hillyard Lions Club, will be staged today from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Northeast Community Center. 482-0708
Wacky Witch (comedian Phyllis Silver) comes to the Children’s Corner Bookshop for a howling good time, Saturday at 1 p.m. The program includes spooky stories and ghoulish gags. It’s free and appropriate for school-age children. 624-4820
A Pumpkin Carving Contest and a Penny Carnival will be held Saturday from 2-4 p.m. at the Northeast Community Center, sponsored by the Spokane Parks and Rec Department and the Downtown Optimist Club. 482-0708
The Post Falls Food Bank is sponsoring a kids costume contest Saturday at 1 p.m. in the parking lot of Michels Restaurant, adjacent to the Factory Outlet Mall in Post Falls. Donations for the food bank will be taken. Prizes for the winning costume. (208) 773-0139
A kid’s program with the theme A Halloween Party With the Berenstein Bears, will be held from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at the Eastern Washington University Bookstore in the Pence Union Building in Cheney. 359-2443
Kids can have lunch with the Great Pumpkin Saturday in Kellogg, but the fun doesn’t end there. A children’s costume parade begins at 11 a.m. at the Shoshone County News-Press, 401 Main, and ends at the Kellogg Elks Club for lunch, games and fun, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Lunch is $3 and the event includes a cupcake walk and fish pond. (208) 784-0821
The October Apple Festival continues daily through Halloween at Green Bluff, but it might as well be called a pumpkin festival, at least for the duration. Many of the participating farms have fields littered with pumpkins just waiting for a home. There are apples and apple cider and corn shocks, too.
The fourth annual Wishing Star Foundation Old-Fashioned Halloween Party is Saturday from 7 p.m. to midnight at the Davenport Hotel. From 7 to 10 p.m. there will be an old-fashioned party and carnival games, 9 p.m. to midnight there’s dancing to the music of True Texas. The $12.50 ticket includes finger food (not real fingers, of course), a costume contest for best group and best individual and carnival games. There’s also a no-ghost bar. 744-3411
Halloween costumes are the dress of the day for a Saturday Night Contraween Dance, at 8 p.m. at Corbin Community Center, 827 W. Cleveland. Hired Hands will provide the music. Admission’s $7, $5 for Spokane Folklore Society members. 747-2640
It doesn’t really have much to do with Halloween, but why not have a themed Halloween Bike Show and Swap Meet? The event is Saturday from noon to 10 p.m., at 10504 W. 21st. Cost: $5 donation. 838-9111
The Hillyard V.F.W. annual Children’s Halloween Party begins at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Post Home, 3004 E. Queen. Costumes would be appropriate since there is a costume contest. 487-3784
“A Monster Concert: Music for Halloween and All Hallows” will be given Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, 1115 W. Riverside. Music will be by organist Jim Barrett. The concert’s free but a free-will offering will be taken.
The Halloween-themed ballet “The Haunting” will be staged by Conservatory Ballet Theatre Oct. 29 and 30 at 8 p.m. at The Met. A champagne reception begins at 7 p.m. Tickets: $12.50, $10 and $8, available at G&B outlets.
The big Halloween night extravaganza for kids - Halloween II - has been moved to the Interstate Fairgrounds and runs 4 to 9 p.m. The event has been divided into two sessions, 4-6 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. and only kids ages 12 and younger will be admitted. The event’s free but a ticket is required to get in, available at the Camp Fire offices in Spokane and at Spokane Little Caesars Pizza Restaurants. All children are also asked to donate a can of food to benefit the Spokane Food Bank.
Those who want to get wet on Halloween can attend the Halloween Pool Party at the Shadle Park Indoor Pool, 6-9:30 p.m. Halloween night. The event is for children age 15 and younger only, sponsored by the Spokane Parks and Recreation Department. Admission is 50 cents. 625-6200
Have a toga already hanging in your closet? If so, put it on and head for Cheney Cowles Museum on Halloween because a Greek-themed costume gets you in for free to the big “Treasures of Antiquity: Greek and Roman Art from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston” exhibit. But only on Halloween. The museum’s open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Those without Greek costume can still get in for $4, $3 for seniors, $2.50 for students. 456-6181
“Nosferatu,” the 1922 silent film version of Bram Stoker’s classic novel “Dracula” will be shown at St. John’s Cathedral at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Halloween (see story on page 4).
A Halloween Costume Carnival begins at 5:30 p.m. on Halloween at the SYSA Indoor Activity Center, 3014 E. 55th. Cost: $5 per child, includes prizes and candy from carnival booths. 448-1620
The Haunt in the Holler Haunted House at Riverwalk, Trent and Hamilton, will be open 5 p.m. to midnight tonight and Saturday, 5-8 p.m. Sunday, 5-10 p.m. Monday through Halloween and 5 p.m. to midnight Nov. 1 and 2. The House of Terror Haunted House at the same location will be open 6-9 tonight, 4-9 p.m. Saturday, 3-7 p.m. Sunday, 6-9 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Nov. 1 and 4-9 p.m. Halloween and Nov. 2. Admission to the House of Terror is $4 for adults, $3 for children, $10 for a family. 484-4818 or 489-7846
The Cheney Parks and Recreation Department Haunted House will be open Wednesday and Thursday, 6-8:30 p.m. in the Wren Pierson Building on the corner of Third and D streets in Cheney. Admission is a can of food for the Cheney Food Bank. 235-7295
The West Valley High School Slaughter House will be open 6-11 p.m. tonight and Saturday and Halloween, 6-10 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday at the Virtual Assault Building, 4103 E. Mission. Admission is $5, $4 for K-12 students.
Swackhammer’s is the place where the ghouls gather. The popular nightclub will throwing two monster mashes, one Saturday and the other on Halloween night. Local Top-40 station KZZU will host Saturday’s bash. DJ Randy Lee will wake the dead with the latest tunes. A thousand bucks in cash prizes will be awarded for the best costumes. Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door.
Thursday, doors open a 6 p.m. and the party kicks off shortly thereafter. DJ Darren Anderson will get the zombies moving on the dance floor. $500 will be handed out for the top costumes. The cover is $3.
A Halloween party with music by the Rhythm Method will be staged Saturday at the Valley Red Lion. There will be prizes for the best costume, but, of course, costumes are optional. The music - rock, rhythm and blues - runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets are $5, available at G&B outlets.
The Halloween party at Outback Jack’s will be Wednesday at 6 p.m. Special events include a pumpkin carving contest and a costume contest. Cover is $5 in advance; $6 at the door.
Local band Mama’s Dogma will attempt to spook their fans at its first annual Halloween Super-Bash at the Northern Corner Thursday. The band will play all night, starting at 9:30 p.m. Guests are asked to come in costume. Admission is $3 with costume, $5 without. When the band played the club last, there was a 15-minute line just to get in, so get there early.
The Mars Hotel Halloween extravaganza includes a costume contest, food and Vegas-style blackjack, all starting at 4 p.m.
A Halloween dance party to the music of The Nothin’ Personal Blues Band kicks off at 8 p.m. at Cavanaugh’s Inn at the Park ballrooms B and C, on Halloween night. There will be a costume contest and you must be at least 21 to attend. Admission’s $7 at the door.
A Halloween bash will be staged on Halloween at the Moon Time Club in Coeur d’Alene. Slight Return will provide the tunes and there will be a costume contest. (208) 667-2331
Some of the laughs will be on the scary scale at a comedy show staged on Halloween night at 8 by Hijinx, the improvisational comedy troupe. The comedy show’s at the Masonic Temple, 1108 W. Riverside. $5, $3 for students. 926-4594
“Salsaween” will be staged on Halloween from 8 p.m. to midnight at Hobart’s Lounge at Cavanaugh’s Fourth Ave. Halloween’s the theme but the music will be strictly salsa Latin jazz by Fuego. Wear a costume, though, because there’s a contest. Cost: $3 cover.
The Spokane Chapter Rotaract is sponsoring its third annual Halloween Dance Party but this event has a twist: It’s called “The Night After,” and, indeed, this party is Nov. 1 at 9 p.m. at the Masonic Temple, 1108 W. Riverside. There’s still the requisite costume contest (here’s a chance to wear that great outfit twice). You must be at least 21 to attend, admission is $5 and it’s a benefit for the YWCA School for Homeless Children.
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The following fields overflowed: BYLINE = Susan English Staff writer (Joe Ehrbar contributed to this report)