Columbia County- Leaves are dropping along with the temperature, Fall has arrived and Halloween is quickly approaching for Columbia County. With the movie Halloweentown filmed in St. Helens in 1998, the city is still celebrating and the many across Columbia County have also embraced this holiday.
Local citizens have ties to the movie as many had their debut acting in the movie as extras such as Rainier Mayor, Jerry Cole along with Clatskanie resident, Brian Fawcett. Brian was a kid at the time who got his first paycheck as an extra to perform alongside his sister and mom in an Aladdin Costume. Brian shared that his favorite memory of the movie was, “Being part of a locally made movie with my family was a cool experience. And watching the movie near Halloween after the fact to find myself, my mom, and my sister in random scenes made for some good memories.” Maybe that’s why so many people jump at the chance to celebrate Halloween and welcome curious tourists.
The movie has a cult following that will bring a lot of tourists to the area for Halloween the month of October for a variety of activities. To view, a list of Spirit of Halloweentown events go to www.discovercolumbiacounty.com and www.keepitlocalcc.com to view many local events. SHEDCO (ST Helens Economic Development Corporation) has partnered with several local groups to host a few events for locals to have some fun along with the tourists and ways they can get engaged to show off their local community.
A signature event to kick off the month-long celebration is the Halloweentown Parade that is on Oct 7th at 3:00 PM. Last year, the parade had a Witches Float, Star Wars of Oregon, Columbia County Sherrif Department, Aliens, Zombie fighters, Scary Clown Bikers and more participated. The 2nd year parade is sure to outshine the past year. When asked what will make this year different?” Gretchen Williams, Parade Organizer, replied, “For me, the parade this year is different from the last because of the willingness from groups to participate. Many crowd favorites from last year contacted me immediately wanting to return. I didn’t even have to ask them! I have several families who have signed up to participate simply because they love Halloween. I’m very excited to see their entries! We are on track to surpass the number of entries we had last year. Something else that is new this year is that I did not have to charge an entry fee. Thanks to several additional sponsors, everyone can participate for free.” Afterwards, the Community Pumpkin lightening will take place in the Holiday Plaza at 7:00 PM.
Ways for you to get involved:
- September 25th-Oct 6th Participate in a Scarecrow Contest. Open to all citizens and businesses Across Columbia County are invited to put up a ScareCrow for the Spirit of Halloweentown ScareCrow Contest. Winners get $150 sponsored by the City of St. Helens. You can post your photos to the FB page between Sept 25th- Oct 6th details on the facebook page.
- Oct 7th – Halloweentown Parade sponsored by SCC Chamber of Commerce, SHEDCO & Columbia River PUD Oct 7th. Locals can participate in the parade for free by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.
- Oct 7th- The Bite of Columbia County – Be a spectator! It’s a fundraiser for the Columbia Pacific Food Bank & St Helens BackPack Program. Get your tickets online for $30.00 each or 2 for $50.00 or you can purchase at Bertucci’s and Houlton Bakery. You’ll get to sample foods from over 20 local restaurants.
- Oct 14th- Columbia County Rotary- Monster Dash Fundraiser for local Columbia County Veterans. Sign up here.
- October 6th – Oct 30th. If you like to get dressed up in costume, you can become a WayFinding Witch. What’s that? It’s a chance to share our local businesses and happenings with the tourists in your Halloween Costume. Click on the link, to sign up for a volunteer spot.
- Oct 15th – Meet and Treat at Aggies featuring Kimberly Brown. Locals use your zip code to receive a discount on tickets. Follow the event on Facebook for more information.
- Oct 21st – Annual Masquerade Charity Ball hosted by Windemere Foundation Columbia County
- Oct 19th,20,21st at 7:00 PM & 21st at 2 PM ShoeString Theatre, “The War of the Worlds” on October 19, 20, 21 at 7 pm, and October 21 for a 2 pm matinee. Tickets on Sale September 30th online or at Bertucci’s.