Halloween fun in Wallowa County

Dressed up for All Saints Eve and Halloween fun, twin Peas in a Pod, Jackson (top) and Spencer Decker, age 3 months. Photo by Elane Dickenson

Wallowa County youngsters - of all ages - were having too much fun during Halloween weekend to worry too much about the things that go bump in the night.

The orange-and-black revelry started big time at Cloverleaf Hall in Enterprise, when about 50 volunteers from several local churches put on the fifth annual All-Saints Eve Celebration.

The free event is normally held on Halloween, but since it fell on Sunday this year, the big family bash was moved to Saturday night.

"It was started as an alternative to trick-or-treating," chairman Cathy Maben of Joseph, a member of the Enterprise Christian Church, said. "We usually have about 400-500 kids. It's been a big success."

Looking around, she agreed 2004 might be a record year. The celebration was another big success in the making.

The hall was filled with kids in costumes, laughing, throwing basketballs and bean bags, standing in line for cotton candy, getting their faces painted, going round and round in the cup cake walk. A kitchen staff was heating and handing out hot dogs as fast as they could, and had long ago lost track of the number.

There were princesses, witches, super heroes, fuzzy animals, doctors, pirates, knights, spacemen, dragons, cowboys and cowgirls, soldiers and mummies. The Grim Reaper was there, rubbing shoulders with Cindy Who and Pippi Longstockings. Many parents took advantage of the chance to dress up. For example, Shrek was there with his kids, and one son-mother combo were dressed up as a monkey and monkey tamer.

"They love it," said Cindy Nohr, who brought her two daughters to the party.

Kids had different favorite activities. "Probably going on the cake walk. I got a cupcake," said Connor Sticka, 10. "I like playing that monkey game," said Hunter Barnes, 5.

Among the volunteers were high school members of the FCCLA chapter, earning points for their community service projects.

Sunday night was Halloween, and many kids did don their costumes and braved wintry temperatures for traditional trick-or-treating.

A favorite stop - and lucrative - in Joseph was the Alpine House, where approximately 20 residents dressed up themselves to greet the costumed youngsters, armed with bowls and plastic pumpkins full of candy.

The children were treated to candy from each senior witch or hobo, sitting in a line around the room.

The Alpine residents admit that they look forward to Halloween all year long. "I enjoy the children and their costumes," Venita Smith said. She was dressed all in black with a black wig, an Elvira-type figure.

Gladys Murphy, in a nun costume, was especially happy to see one of the trick-or-treaters, eight-month-old Destany Moore, dressed up in a pink bunny suit. "She's my great-granddaughter," Murphy said, giving the little girl a hug along with her treat.

"I think the adults enjoy dressing up more than the children," witchy Irene McFetridge said, as she gave her miniature replica another piece of candy.

Whether it's called All-Saints Eve or Halloween, kids of all ages have reason to love the holiday in Wallowa County.

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