Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Join Alice in Willamette on Halloween

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Kids and adults like dress up for trick or treating in West Linns Willamette district, a tradition that's continued for more than a decade. Unless the storm clouds take an unexpected turn, trick-or-treaters can expect to get a bit damp Halloween night — but that won’t put off merchants in the historic Willamette District in West Linn, who’ve been offering sweets and fun for the past decade.

“One year it blew so hard it knocked over our props and decorations but we just ran after them and called the kids to come back,” recalls Sarah Colarchik, co-owner of Sachi Wellness Center.

It was the Sachi staff that started the whole thing in 2005, when the business was new and looking to bring people downtown. Now nearly all the businesses along Willamette participate, Colarchik says, and the event typically gets 200-300 kids in costume.

And those kids bring their parents, many also in costume, making the event particularly fun, she adds. This year’s theme (all 10 of the Halloween events have had themes) is a take-off on Alice in Wonderland, only here it’s called “Alice in Willamette.” Colarchik and her voluteers will be dressing in Wonderland costumes like the Mad Hatter, as well as setting up fun activities like flamingo golf.

“This is a fun, family event,” she says. “I was inspired to try it because when my son was young and I lived in Oregon City I remember sitting outside a coffee shop and feeling safe watching him up go up and down the street trick-or-treating.”

It’s been a while since Halloween fell on a weekend; last time that happened the Willamette businesses expected to be quiet because of that but in fact they were very busy, Colarchik says.

“In the beginning not all the businesses were enthusiastic about the event,” she said. “After I pointed out all the kids and families who would be visiting their business and walking our streets, they’ve been won over one by one. My hope is this event takes on a life of its own.”