Halloween is brooding, waiting to haunt Park City
Fantasy will come to life for many Parkites as they celebrate Halloween on Tuesday.
Many locals are already in full preparation mode; organizing parties, narrowing down their costumes and buying bags of candy for trick-or-treaters.
Luckily, there are many options for residents to celebrate the unique holiday. The city is holding a series of safe, family-friendly events.
First of all, The Park City Historical Society and Museum will conduct its annual "Halloween at Glenwood" Oct. 29 from noon to 2 p.m. The program has been a success since it started in 1994.
"Previously it was a walking tour, but then it was so popular that we figured out an easier way by having actors standing by their (characters’) graves and telling their stories," said Hal Compton, organizer of the event.
Local actors will dress in period costumes and impersonate historical Park City figures.
"It has a lot of character and atmosphere," Compton said. "It’s spooky to start with. The trees are like skeletons with the leaves all gone."
He said last year there were about 600 people that came through within two hours.
"It’s the only event of its kind in Utah for sure, and perhaps the West," Compton said.
Compton said the historical society does a lot of research on the people who died there. The stories the actors tell are true stories of people who lived here and struggled with sicknesses and mining injuries.
"This gives a realistic side to the event and to Halloween. It will tell true stories of life and death. The event on Main Street is a fun holiday, although young people enjoy it, this is serious stuff," Compton said.
On Halloween, Tuesday, Oct. 31, from 3 to 5 p.m., participating Main Street merchants will give kids an opportunity to trick-or-treat in the closed-off, safe confines of Main Street. At the Tanger Outlet Center, there will be a costume contest and trick-or-treating with participating stores at 3:30 p.m. At the same time on Main Street, 3:30 p.m., the Park City Museum will give kids an opportunity to make their own masks to showcase down the street.
"I just thought it would be fun to offer something for the kids at Halloween," said Johanna Fassbender, who has been with the museum since June and came up with the idea.
Fassbender, from Germany, has been in the United States for two years and is still adjusting to America’s Halloween Craze. She looked through some old museum pictures of kids with masks, which spawned her idea.
"It’s really easy and simple to make them," Fassbender said. "So, we decided to jump on the wagon with the whole thing on Main Street."
Last year she was in California and helped make similar masks for kids at a museum there.
"That was a lot of fun, I hope kids here will enjoy it as well," Fassbender said.
There will be a mask-making table at the museum. Fassbender will be dressed as a witch and other Museum workers will also be dressed up. All the materials will be free and there will be candy for any trick-or-treaters.
Making the masks is an inexpensive way to obtain a costume and also follows in line with the museum by connecting with the past.
"In the past people made their costumes themselves," said Fassbender. "Now we have super Halloween stores and Wal-mart."
Making their own costumes will also give the kids a sence of accomplishment, according to Fassbender.
"It’s about being creative and making something themselves and then bringing them back home.
Children will have many options including wool and feathers, to make their masks. Each mask has the potential to be a one-of-a-kind.
"They can be creative," Fassbender said. "They will be able to make exactly the mask they want or imagine. They’re very easy to make and they are a lot of fun.
After spending time making masks then the kids will be able to continue trick-or-treating on Main.
"I hope the people will take that opportunity and come to the museum to make some scary or pretty masks, whatever they want to do," Fassbender said. "Many times Halloween is a money-making machine; I just want to have fun with (the kids)."
At 4 p.m. on Halloween, the dog festivities will commence for the fifth straight year. The event is quickly rising to prominence.
"We are getting regional and national attention," said Kimberly Kuehn, creator of the Howl-O-Ween Dog Parade.
Everyone is invited to dress up their mutts and bring them (on a leash) to the dog costume contest at the Post Office and then join the parade at 5 p.m.
"It’s just so cool," Kuehn said. "It’s about one of the coolest events in Park City because it’s different than any ski town. Nobody else has a dog Halloween Parade."
Kuehn believes the passion for animals among the locals is what makes this event.
"The dog parade is pretty wild, because we are a dog community," said Kuehn. "We really are excited to have such a neat Park ‘Silly’ event.
"We are unique in our own way because we are a dog town. We love the spirit of dressing up dogs and our families and everybody, we have a great time," Kuehn continued.
The event is growing also because of the city’s support.
"My husband and I are now working with the city on it. This is the first year that the Main Street Alliance is fully supporting the dog parade, they are giving us money here and there to make it better."
New to this year’s parade, a professional photographer will take pictures of the dogs, and there will be a local 4-man marching band and parade banners.
"It’s definitely bringing it up a level," Kuehn said. "We are getting so much recognition for the dog parade from the Main Street Alliance, the Chamber of Commerce, and from Max Paap, the city’s special events coordinator."
The parade is open to all, with or without dogs, Kuehn said.
"The ambiance is just so much fun, there’s so much laughing going on and everybody wins," Kuehn said. "People that don’t have dogs are showing up trick-or-treating. It is hilarious; it’s such a unique event. It’s so fun and silly."
After the parade, the Park City Police Department will give tips to children and parents on safe trick-or-treating at the Village on Main.
Following the Main street and Tanger Outlet events, Tim Wray and Mountain Town Stages will hold the Spookedelic Ball at Prospector Square from 6:30 p.m. to about 2 a.m. Tickets for that event range from $15 to $25. Kids under 12 are admitted free.
The annual Halloween at Glenwood will take place at the Glenwood Cemetery on Sunday, Oct. 29 from noon until 2 p.m. There is no admission charge, but donations are appreciated. For more information, call the Park City Museum at 649-7457 or e-mail museum30 p.m. Children can come to Main Street for fun and safe Trick-or-Treating, compliments of all participating merchants. At 3:30 p.m. there will be mask making at the Park City Museum and trick-or-treating and a costume contest at the Tanger Mall Outlet stores. From 4 5 p.m. there will be doggie photos and contest at the Post Office. At 5 p.m. there will be a Howl-O-Ween Dog Parade. The parade will proceed down Main Street into the Village on Main. At 5:15 p.m. the Park City Police Department will give safe Halloween tips at Village on Main.The Spookedelic Ball will start at 6:30 p.m. on Halloween at Prospector Square. For tickets or information, call 901-SONG.
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