Downtown Willamette offers safe trick-or-treating for all

Looking for a safe, well-lit place to bring your little ones trick-or-treating this Halloween? Check out the downtown Willamette area in West Linn.

The merchants on Willamette Falls Drive are hosting their seventh annual Old Town Haunt for children of all ages Oct. 31 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Organized and sponsored by Sachi Wellness Center, the event has a different theme each year. This year's theme is a Western one. Previous themes include 'The Wizard of Oz,' pirates, superheroes and the circus.

Sachi co-owner Sarah Colarchik helped dream up the event. While living in Oregon City, she was a single mother who was going to school at night. She recalled how downtown Oregon City used to have a Halloween event and she could sit in an area restaurant and do homework while her son walked up and down the street with his friends in a safe and secure environment.

So, when she came to West Linn, Colarchik wanted to replicate that experience.

'We love Halloween,' she said. 'Year by year, it's grown to all of main street.'

This year, about 20 participating businesses from 10th to 14th streets will hand out candy to trick-or-treaters.

To add to the fun, this year will include a scavenger hunt. Kids may pick up a postcard with three emblems on it at one of the participating merchants. Then they must find the merchants who have the correlating stamps. If they collect all three stamps, kids can turn in the postcard for a bag of goodies.

Colarchik said the event is the area's way of giving back to the neighborhood.

'We are giving them a fun place to let them trick or treat,' she said.

'It really is a fun event,' said Gail Holmes, a member of the Main Street Project. 'It's during the daylight, you feel more safe, you aren't wandering around in the cold and dark.'

Colarchik added that the merchants also benefit by exposing more people to their stores.

'I think it's a great event because it brings in the children and their parents,' said Holmes. 'It's a great way for people to realize what we have up here.'

The event is sponsored by Sachi Wellness Center, the Willamette Neighborhood Association, Mirage Salon and the city of West Linn.

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