Halloween Fun, Festivities Start This Weekend

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Halloween is happening in the Rim Country starting this weekend and continuing through the haunting night itself. Events include:

Gracie Lee Haught Spooktacular Costume Party, Dance and Banquet

Slip into your most spooktacular outfit and make your way to the Ox Bow Saloon on West Main Street Saturday, Oct. 22. The 7th Annual Gracie Lee Haught Costume Party, Dance and Banquet is from 7 p.m. to midnight.

It only costs $10 to come in and shake the dust off the ol’ bones while dancing to Moonshine Mafia. The bar will be open and snacks provided.

There will be $500 in cash prizes for the best-dressed couple, man, woman and most creative. Dazzling jewelry from Overman Designs, Payson Jewelers and local donors are just some of the amazing raffle items. Bring your candy sack to carry off the money you’ll win in the 50/50 raffle.

The first 120 tickets purchased before the banquet will be eligible to win a beautiful Overman Designs diamond necklace. So come out and help GLH raise some money for local kids. Stop by the GLH office at 308 E. Aero to buy tickets in advance, or call (928) 472-2588. GLH is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Pine Strawberry School Fall Festival

The Pine Strawberry School will have its annual Fall Festival from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 28 in the school gymnasium.  

Activities for the evening include a variety of booths, a cakewalk, silent auction, haunted maze, and more. A costume contest will take place at 7 p.m. Dinner is also available for $4. 

The proceeds will help benefit the 8th-grade class trip and promotion ceremony.

Library plans costume parades

The Payson Public Library will have two Trick or Treat Costume Parades Monday, Oct. 31.

The Preschool Costume Parade is at 10 a.m. and the After School Costume Parade is at 4 p.m. Princesses, cowboys, superheroes, pirates, clowns and more are all invited to the Payson Public Library for the parade, which will travel throughout the library, located at 328 N. McLane Road.

The parades are open to kids and teens of all ages, however participants can only attend one event, not both. Sign up in the Children’s Room or call Katie at (928) 474-9260.

Trunk or Treat and Haunted House on Historic Main Street

Calling all you ghouls and goblins, it’s time for the annual Trunk or Treat Festival sponsored by Chili’s Restaurant. This year’s event will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday, Oct. 31 on Payson’s Historic Main Street at the Ox Bow Saloon.

The town will once again be purchasing all of the candy and providing it to more than 30 decorated booths where volunteers will hand it out to children ages 12 and under.

“The reason the town buys the candy is because we want to provide a safe environment for children to safely trick or treat and give parents peace of mind that their children are safe,” said Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director Cameron Davis.

Individuals, clubs and organizations or businesses that would like to sponsor a booth during the Trunk or Treat Festival should go to the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department at 1000 W. Country Club in Green Valley Park and sign up.

Cost is $25 and the town will supply you with the candy. You must supply and decorate your own 10-foot-by-10-foot trunk. Trunk space is limited, so please hurry to claim a site.

This year the town has once again partnered with the Drama Department at the Payson High School to provide a haunted house at the Ox Bow Saloon. This year’s haunted house theme will be Zombieland. There will be different levels of “scariness” for the haunted house so that children and grownups can enjoy the event at their own scare threshold.

“We want everyone to be able to enjoy the haunted house and have lots of fun,” Davis said.

The haunted house will be open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and admission is $3 or bring a can of food for the local food bank and get in for $2.

Davis and his staff would like to thank Brian Mortensen, owner of the Ox Bow, for allowing them to use this already spooky venue for this event. A portion of the gate will go to help support the Drama Department and their yearly activities.

If you are looking to park close to the event, here are several different options:

• Take W. Main Street and go south on Westerly, turn right on Aero and go to S. McLane and turn right. Follow signs to a large parking lot that is very close to the Ox Bow.

• Green Valley Park

• Julia Randall Elementary School parking lot

• Presbyterian Church on Main Street

• Main Street parking lot off of Westerly

• Frontier Street

Also, don’t forget the fun Adult Halloween Dance at 9 p.m., Saturday Oct. 29 at the Ox Bow Saloon. Admission is $5 and you must be 21 years or older to enter. You also must be dressed in a Halloween costume to enter and there will be prizes for the best costume. Live music will be provided by Moonshine Mafia.

For more information, please contact Deb Rose at 474-5242, ext. 7, or at drose@paysonaz.gov or go to www.paysonrimcountry.com/trunkortreat

Davis and his staff also give special thanks to the Gila County Mounted Sheriff’s Posse for helping provide security for this year’s event.

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