Halloween on Main Street
October 24, 2008
Louie isn’t a bird. He isn’t a plane. He isn’t exactly Superman, either. But the two-and-a-half-year-old white Maltese wears a red cape, matching booties and an embroidered yellow thunderbolt over his shaggy chest.
His cohort, Lucy, is a "skunk." (Never mind, for now, the turned-up tail beneath her black-and-white stripes).
As longtime residents know, Halloween in Park City defies conventional wisdom. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, chances are it’s a dog.
Ashley Woodard dresses Louie in costume every Oct. 31 and plans to take him to his first dog parade on Main Street this year. The fashion preview Tuesday afternoon at Lucy has Everything, the dog-and-pet shop where Woodard works, is just a dress rehearsal for one of Park City’s most unique holiday celebrations.
If slapping clothes on a dog seems odd, Woodward is hardly alone. She and Louie will join about 150 of their four-legged friends, including Lucy, a teacup Maltese, as they trot from 4th Street near Cows Ice Cream to 7th Street. That stretch of road will be closed to cars from 2 until 6 p.m. to allow trick-or-treaters, strollers and dogs to celebrate Halloween with only imagined danger.
Because Halloween falls on a Friday this year, organizers are planning for larger-than-average crowds and offering more activities. "We just wanted to make it as safe as possible," said Sandy Geldhof of the Historic Main Street Business Alliance, the event organizer.
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In addition to the parade, families can pose for pictures with leashed and costumed dogs outside the post office. Photos can be viewed at http://www.rightonmain.org and the Kimball Art Center plans to print and frame some of the pictures to make a locals gallery in the basement of its facility on Nov. 7.
Photos will also be taken at the Kimball’s kids party from 1 to 4 p.m. Festivities includes face painting, apple-bobbing and treats. The Kimball asks for a $1 donation for participation.
New this year, the art nonprofit plans to offer a dog valet on its outdoor porch where owners can "park" leashed dogs so bipeds can enter the gallery for a sneak peek of William Morris’ exhibit "Native Species" starting at 6 p.m. and stroll to the 23 other galleries without having to worry about pets.
The so-called Barking Lot runs from 6-9 p.m. and the William Morris exhibit is officially scheduled to open Nov. 1.
"Halloween is a very big deal and people go all out," Jenny Diersen, director of community relations for the Kimball, said. "We want people to have a fun time."
On Halloween, organizers ask guests to bring two cans of food for admission to the stroll. They specifically request tuna, corn, spaghetti sauce and fruit. Collected food will be donated to a food bank at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
"Halloween isn’t exactly an event that brings in money," Geldhof said. "But it’s a great community event." For people celebrating their first Halloween in Park City, she added, "They’re certainly not going to find another Halloween town that is as celebratory."
Dogs in drag
The dogs participating in the Bark and Howl parade at 5 p.m. on Main Street make a motley crew every year. Skeletons, princesses, football players, pirates and bumblebees click around with long, noisy nails. Most pet shops sell costumes for $10 to $20 and other owners prefer to stitch outfits from hand. "Dogs are a very big part of the family," Kimberly Keuhn, the founder of the dog parade, said.
Keuhn helped start the dog parade in 2001 and makes her blue healer’s costumes out of recycled goods she finds around the house. This year, her dog, Bandee, will attend the parade disguised as a lady bug. "A very fat lady bug," Keuhn clarified.
Although a costume’s cuteness factor is important, owners should make safety and comfort priorities for pets. For homemade costumes, Keuhn recommended cutting up children’s clothes for safety and warmth and advised against eyewear, sequins and candy costumes.
Allie McPhee, a technician at Park City Animal Clinic, discouraged owners from slipping bracelets, beads and other loose item onto pets. She offered three failsafe rules. "Nothing tight around the neck," she said. "Nothing too loose. Nothing they could eat."
Kitty Bennion, who works at Lucy has Everything with Woodard, said it is best to let the pet decide. "It’s whatever the dogs and cats will put up with," she said, adding that temporary dyes are a bad idea.
MAIN STREET’S HALLOWEEN HIGHLIGHTS
Submitted by: Historic Main Street Business Alliance
1-4 p.m. Kimball Art Center Kids Party
Kids of all ages are invited to the Kimball Art Center, 638 Park Avenue, for an afternoon of free activities on their outdoor patio, including face painting, apple bobbing and treats. Photo ops of children will be on site as well, and a Halloween photo gallery will be installed beginning November 7.
3-5 p.m.: Trick-or-Treating on Main
Goodies for kids will be provided, compliments of over 100 participating merchants.
4 – 5 p.m.: Doggie Photos at the Post Office.
Families can bring leashed and costumed dogs for photo opportunities. Photos can be viewed at http://www.rightonmain.org.
5 – 5:30 p.m.: The Barks and Howls Dog Parade
The annual costumed dog parade will be led by members of the Park City High School Marching Band will proceed from the Post Office down Main Street into The Shops at the Village on Main, the collection of merchants on lower Main Street and 7th Avenue.
5:30-6 p.m.: The Shops at the Village on Main
The Shops at the Village on Main will offer treats, balloons, music, and Halloween Safety Tips. Friends of Animals will be on site with warm drinks and snacks, and adoptable pets.
4-6 p.m.: Haunted Inn
Ghosts will guide patrons through the Washington School Inn, 543 Park Avenue, the school house-turned-bed-and-breakfast. The free Haunted Inn tours Halloween night will include ghosts of departed Washington School teachers, principals and students.
6-9 p.m.: Ghouls & Galleries Stroll
The monthly stroll features art and treats from 23 galleries on Main Street and other areas of Park City. The kickoff party, at the Kimball at 6 p.m., will feature sweets, beer and wine, and music by the Blue Wailers,
Call 435-640-7447 or 435-658-9612 with any questions or for more information.
PET SAFETY TIPS FOR OCT. 31
Submitted by Utah Red Cross
Keep your pet safe while trick or treating by following these tips:
-A T-shirt is probably the best costume for pets. Do not use anything that fits
around the neck or over the face. Make sure the costume doesn’t have detachable or chewable parts that can lead to stomach upset or intestinal obstruction. Chocolate is toxic to animals.
-Keep pets confined during trick or treating. Pets should be kept in another room during
parties and when kids come to the door. Animals get scared from kids in costumes and all of the noise. Also, pets can escape from the opening and closing doors, so make sure they are wearing identification.