Last Saturday, as unseasonal snowfall piled up all over the valley, Swiftsure Ranch unfortunately canceled its Blazing Pumpkins Fall Festival, which was supposed kicked off the Halloween season. While the weather may have been more in line with Thanksgiving and Christmas, the valley is nonetheless turning its attention towards Halloween, beginning a series of spooky events that will grip the Wood River Valley before October reaches its finale.
Countless creepy capers crowd the calendar for the remainder of this month. Halloween enthusiasts may refer to the front page of this section for the full rundown of the Nightmare on Main Street celebration, the largest Halloween party in the valley, but it is one of many events marking the holiday in the next eight days.
Parties, hauntings, trick-or-treating extravaganzas and more—events for all ages and of all levels on the spectrum between wholesomely family friendly and downright terrifying—are open to the public between now and November.
Although a number of events wait for the actual holiday on Thursday, Oct. 31, the lion’s share have set their sights on this coming weekend, between Friday, Oct. 25, and Sunday, Oct. 27.
On Friday, 4-8 p.m., Swiftsure is planning to host a free Haunted Barn event. Barbeque dinners and drinks will also be on sale. The cost-free admission includes the Haunted Barn, s’mores and a chance to check out the jack-o’-lanterns carved for Blazing Pumpkins.
Widely regarded as the scariest event of the Halloween season, the Haunted Forest transforms the usually pastoral backdrop of the Howard Preserve into an unparalleled maze of terror and fright. Witches, werewolves, murderous clowns and all manner of other ghoulies galivant through the woods, seeking their next victims. Who will be brave enough to venture into the forest?
Those who count themselves courageous can acquire tickets for $7, but be aware that supplies are limited. The denizens of the Haunted Forest stalk the night from 5:30-10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 26 and 27. See the Arts section in the Oct. 9 issue of the Mountain Express for a full preview of the Bellevue Haunted Forest.
Also on Saturday, Oct. 26, The Mint in Hailey will host a Tarantino Terror Night with music by DJ Diva. Revelers are invited to attend dressed as their favorite characters from such Quentin Tarantino films as “Pulp Fiction,” “Kill Bill,” “Django Unchained” and the recently released “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”
For those who prefer treats to tricks—or abject terror, for that matter—the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 26, will see the annual Halloween Fall Festival in Sun Valley Village.
This family-friendly event is essentially, thematically speaking, the antithesis of the South Valley horrors (although Haunted Forest organizers do allow as how everyone has a different threshold for terror and some children do handle it just fine).
Costumes are encouraged in Sun Valley for the free festival, which includes trick-or-treating, live music, horse-drawn wagon rides, a strawbale maze, pumpkin decorating, ice skating, lawn games, a kids train, photo booth and even more from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday.
At 4 p.m., those tricksters and treaters in attendance can head over to the Sun Valley Opera House for a free screening of the popular 2012 animated children’s film “Hotel Transylvania.”
This annual celebration is among the first of several kid-friendly Halloween happenings.
On Halloween itself, both Hailey and Bellevue will offer fun-filled trick-or-treat events for local children.
In Hailey, from 3:30-5 p.m. on Halloween, young trick-or-treaters will enjoy a fun and safe celebration of the holiday. Thanks to the Chamber of Hailey and the Wood River Valley, local businesses and nonprofits will open their doors to costumed children, dispense a generous amount of candy and encourage a spirit of spooky revelry.
Meanwhile, in Bellevue, the Bellevue Public Library will be hosting its annual “Trunk or Treat” celebration. Various organizations decorate a car trunk for the holiday and hand out candy and other treats to costumed kids along the bike path. A couple-hundred children typically come trunk-or-treating each year.
The event takes place along the bike path as it runs past the Bellevue Public Library and will last from 4-5:30 p.m. on Halloween.
For adults, the Halloween fun continues beyond the weekend as well. On Oct. 31, from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., costumed partiers can head over to The Boho Lounge—131 Washington Ave., Ketchum—for the Roaring Spookies party. Crossing streams between the fashion chic of the Roaring ’20s and the general creepiness of the season, the Boho encourages attendees to “dress in your finest 1920s duds and channel your inner weird.”
Live music includes performances by St. Terrible and The Gospel of Nothingness, The Dirtnap and a “surprise special guest,” which on the website accompanies a still of Tim Curry and Richard O’Brien in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
That graphic may reference another popular Ketchum Halloween tradition, The Spot’s annual performance of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Some tickets are still available for the five performances between Thursday, Oct. 24, and Saturday, Oct. 26. See the Arts section of Oct. 2 for a full preview of that performance series.
The aforementioned events are just some of the Halloween offerings descending on the valley in the next week. Keep an eye on the Mountain Express calendar for updates.