By KOLBY PAXTON
For many, Halloween is a real treat, particularly for the costumed children in pursuit of their favorite candy.
Still, there is no denying the holiday’s intent to startle and, in some cases, the ghosts and gobblins create concern among parents. Those area residents in pursuit of the festivities, minus the concerns, will have a myriad of options.
For the seventh consecutive year, Cookson United Methodist Church will offer up the Cookson Trunk or Treat to the public, Wednesday, Oct. 31, from 5-7 p.m.
“This year, the women are going to be dressing as prom queens and will be giving out the candy in the trunk,” said Cindy Ballew. “Inside the Fellowship Hall, we are doing the fall festival, and that will include carnival-type games and candy and treats. People are going to dress as pirates.”
According to Ballew, CUMC welcomed many visitors last year.
“Last year, there was around 200 children, and we didn’t restrict it to any age. Teenagers get the same candy as the younger ones. Everyone had a good time and enjoyed meeting everyone and laughing.”
The First Baptist Church will offer a similar alternative.
“We are having our annual Trunk ‘N Treat festival on Oct. 31, from 6-7:30 p.m.,” said Ministry Assistant Holly Wheat. “Basically, it will be in the upper parking lot of our church, and there will be a hot dog cookout. All of the little kiddos register and then come through. It’s an alternative for going door-to-door.”
Those outside-of-town patrons in the Peggs area may pay the Peggs Community Church a visit. There, visitors will find a throwback-themed activity, Saturday, Oct. 27, at 6 p.m.
“We’re going to have a hot dog roast, bob for apples, and have sack races,” said Kay Cordray. “We’ll have a costume contest, as well. We do one every year. The theme is old-fashioned country carnival. All ages are invited.”
That same evening, the American Legion Post 135 will host a cost-effective carnival, from 5-8 p.m. Concessions will offer hot dogs and soda for 50 cents, nachos for $1, and funnel cakes for $2.
“We will have carnival games and they are free for the kids,” said Ladies’ Auxiliary President Seasons Stillion. “We’ll have a costume contest, and the kids will get candy and prizes for playing each game. We’ll be indoors and you can bring your whole family. You don’t have to worry about who you might walk up on while trick-or-treating.”
For a unique, music-based experience, thrill-seekers may make their way to the Roxy Theater in Muskogee for a concert by the Steve Pryor Band, Friday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m.
“This past June, a team of paranormal investigators visited the theater to verify the legends that it is haunted,” said Pryor. “Their conclusion was that, indeed, it is.”
According to Chris Borthick, team leader for the Oklahoma Society of the Supernatural, electronic monitors known as EVPs captured the names of team members being called upon during recording playbacks.
“The team also experienced temperature guns being activated in response to questions directed to the spirits in the building. The spirits in the building even turned flashlights on and off by request.”
Audience members will have an opportunity to hear a preliminary summary of the results of this investigation. Ticket prices are $10, and may be reserved by calling (918) 684-6363.
The Tahlequah Police Department recently donated $250 to be used for the purchase of candy for trick-or-treaters. Candy will be given out at the Tahlequah City Hall and the police department on Wednesday, Oct. 31, from 2:30-4 p.m. Leftover treats will be placed into the officers’ vehicles and handed out afterward.
Similarly, the Cherokee County offices will be handing out candy from 3-4:30 p.m., as well, allowing children the opportunity to trick-or-treat on all three floors of the Cherokee County Courthouse.
The Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band will host a haunted house of their own, Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Tahlequah Performing Arts Center, from 7 p.m. until midnight.
“There’s going to be a horror house,” said THS band student Emily Woodard. “There’s two of them. One is for the little kids and one is for the big kids. The band will use the money to buy new instruments.”
The cost of attendance is $3 for one house, or $5 for access to both houses.
Elsewhere, Grand View Elementary has opened its fall festival and chili dinner to the public, Friday, Oct. 26, from 4-8 p.m. The festival will last from 4-6:30 p.m., followed by dinner from 6:30-8 p.m.