Halloween is one of the oldest holidays celebrated around the globe. In Gig Harbor, there are many activities, haunts and traditions to help count down to the end-of-the-month celebration.
Lumina, Cinderella and sugar pies are filling produce stands to serve as decorations. Commonly referred to as vegetables, pumpkins and their relatives are actually fruit. The hunt for a perfect pick is part of the fall fun.
Pumpkins and other autumn accessories can be found at Patterson’s Market at the corner of 56th Street NW and 38th Avenue NW in Gig Harbor.
This is the 31st year the farm market has created a family-friendly setting to pick out a pumpkin, play games and have photo opportunities. All activities are free.
The family-owned market offers 11 varieties of pumpkins, including a new pink Lumina pumpkin with proceeds that go to cancer research, and the unique and warty Knucklehead. The store has corn stalks, hay bales and other fall decor.
Children can enjoy viewing chickens, turkeys and bunnies. There is a Duck Derby race and other games to play.
Pumpkins are grown, in part, on the 5-acre family plot and also arrive daily from Spooner Farm in Puyallup.
“It’s neat to offer the farm setting and see the families come enjoy the fall activities and atmosphere together,” owner Shelley Patterson said.
On the Key Peninsula, Shiloh Farm, 1127 188th Ave. KPN, just off Herron Road in Lakebay, offers the pick of the patch. Families can get up close and personal as they search for the special one to carve.
A quicker pick includes produce markets. Harbor Greens in Gig Harbor, 5225 Olympic Drive, and Local Boys, at the corner of Purdy Drive and state Route 302, both carry a large selection of pumpkins and other autumn accessories. The Gig Harbor Indoor Farmers’ Market, at 5503 Wollochet Drive NW, also is an option.
Find a pumpkin without buying one at Rosedale Gardens, 7311 Rosedale St. NW. It will host “The Great Pumpkin Hunt,” a mystery word scavenger hunt. Adults and children can find pumpkins hidden throughout the nursery. Prizes are given to those who solve the puzzle. This event is free to families every day, with free cider and cookies on weekends. For more information, visit www.rosedalegardens.com.
For creative inspiration, the Uptown Gig Harbor Shopping Center will host a giant pumpkin carving, featuring world-renowned master carver Russ Leno at 10 a.m. Oct. 24 at the pavilion. Leno has sculpted everything from pumpkins to snow during the past 30-plus years.
A Washingtonian, Leno has been on TV and won numerous carving contests. He will carve another creation into a giant pumpkin.
Adults can get into the action before the trick or treating begins for kids. The Tides Tavern will host a costume contest on Oct. 26. Festivities will begin at 7 p.m., and judging will take place at 10 p.m. There will be a $100 prize for first place. For more information, call 253-858-3982 or visit www.tidestavern.com.
If pumpkins, hay bales and costume contests aren’t enough, Paradise Theatre will host its annual Haunted House. Take a guided tour through the Theatre of Lost Souls with Sir Archibald. The spirits will be happy to scare the life out of you.
The theme changes every year; a wedding for the undead will be on display this year. The haunted house will be held on various dates from Friday through the Oct 31. For more information, visit www.paradisetheatre.org.
Lakebay Marina is planning its first Haunted Marina with Peninsula High School drama students’ help. A date and details have yet to be finalized. Check www.facebook.com/pages/Lakebay-marina for updates.