Halloween may occupy just one date on the calendar but in this college and family-friendly town, it starts well before October 31 arrives. Thrift shops in town, from Goodwill to St. Vincent dePaul are crowded with costume-hunting shoppers. And college students going to parties don’t want to wear the same costume twice.
“I think I’m going to be a pirate tonight, and an Army soldier on Halloween,” said one college student to her friend at the Goodwill on Broadway near the University of Oregon.
But once you get all dressed up, where do you go?
Well, for adults there is the Halloween Fetish Ball starting at 9 p.m. Saturday at Diablo’s Downtown Lounge at 959 Pearl Street. Cover is $15 and call 541 343-2346 for more information. If you’re up for it, Diablo’s will host Scaryoke on Sunday, starting at 9 p.m. The Sunday event is free.
Additional Saturday activities include:
From 2 to 4 p.m., the Springfield Public Library will host an early celebration of Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Kids can decorate sugar skulls, listen to music and enjoy activities that honor this traditional Mexican Feast Day observed on Nov. 1 to remember loved ones who have passed on.
Next to the University of Oregon campus, a gallery of Dia de los Muertos paintings, sculpture and photography can be seen at the Maude Kerns Art Center, through Nov. 2. The center is at 1910 East 15th Avenue. Call 541 345-1571 for open hours.
What could be scarier than listening to Halloween music on a vintage pipe organ? This free concert is hosted by the Eugene Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, starting at 4 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive Street. Costumes are encouraged.
A kid-friendly event on Saturday is the ‘Mad Scientists Halloween Extravaganza’, a demonstration of eerie experiments, spooky science and pumpkin tossing — medieval style — at the Eugene Science Factory. Mad scientists will be on hand from 5 to 8 p.m. and admission is $15 per family. The Science Factory is at 2300 Leo Harris Parkway (near Autzen Stadium). Call 541 756-4336 for information.
Author Kent Goodman will host a telling of ghost stories at 6 p.m. at the Holy Well Elixir Bar, 347 West Fifth Street. Goodman wrote, “Haunts of Western Oregon” from where his tales will come, along with material that may fill a new book. Admission is $7 for this personal haunting.
Prefer the experience of an indoor haunting? Then Purgatory Pass, a haunted house in the nearby hamlet of Monroe, may be just what you need to sink your teeth into. It runs from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. You’ll find the house (complete with a Hellavator) at 24800 Highway 99W in Monroe. Admission is $7 and more information is at 541-998-6373.
Saturday through Halloween
Lone Pine Farms is THE PLACE to choose a perfect pumpkin for Jack O’Lantern carving. Follow your successful search with a visit to the 10-acre corn maze at Lone Pine Farms . It appears the Lone Pine folks have outdone themselves this year, with an intricate witch on a broom labyrinthe. Visitors walk through the maze at their own risk of being pursued by chainsaw wielding ghouls, goblins and the best tunnel of fun at the final trail. Lone Pine is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and offers lots of fun for kiddies during the day. Admission to the maze is $15 for the scariest evening visit. Lone Pine is located at 91909 River Road in Junction City. Call 541 688-4389 to find out about all the activities that will run through Halloween.
When Halloween finally arrives, there are still choices for Eugene kids and adults:
Early trick or treaters can enjoy the balloon animal creations of Magician Jay Frasier who will entertain from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the Springfield City Hall lobby, 225 Fifth Street. Free.
Downtown at 199 W. Eighth Ave., Cozmic Pizza will host a carnival with storytelling, origami and an open mike planned for kids starting at 5 p.m. This event is also free.
The Petersen Barn at 870 Berntzen Lane is planning a ‘Booo Barn’ carnival for young visitors. The event runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and admission is free.
Become part of a growing tradition by attending the Bijou Art Cinema’s annual showing of “Nosferatu”, a German film based Dracula and a black and white horror classic. What sets this screening apart is the live score performance by the celebrated Mood Area 52 group, which employs instruments from electric guitar to toy piano to full effect. The $10 admission for all ages begins at 8 p.m. The Bijou is at 492 E. 13th Avenue.
Finally, there seems to be no shortage of mainstream Halloween movies to celebrate the holiday. From Adam Sandler’s “Hotel Transylvania” to Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie,” a total of seven general release movies are playing in area theaters. Check local listings for times at Regal Cinemas in Eugene and CineMark in Springfield.
If staying home on Halloween is your idea of a great time, consider renting the newly released video, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” to while away the time between doorbell rings. By midnight on Halloween, it’s a sure bet that all things that go bump in the night should finally be settled in for a long rest.