Boo!

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Because Halloween is about more than just candy – and is for more than just the kids – we have turned it into a more than just one-day event.

For us, the holiday starts tomorrow.

Between indoor trick-or-treating at Benewah Community Hospital, a PTO carnival at Heyburn Elementary, downtown businesses open late to offer screaming good deals (think: early Christmas shopping) and even a couple haunted runs planned, this Halloween celebration has something for all ages.

Halloween Fright Night at Benewah Community Hospital kicks of area festivities Oct. 25. The event is free and open to the public from 5 tp 7 p.m.

After treating the kids to some fun at the hospital’s fright night, treat yourself to some deals downtown for Moonlight Madness, that same evening – Oct. 25 – from 7-10 p.m. Several area retailers will be open late, all of which will offer scary good deals (sorry, I had to) on nearly all of their inventory.

Enjoy running and/or walking and want to burn off some of the candy you stole from your kids’ trick-or-treating buckets? Join the Zombie Run Oct. 25 at Cherry Bend. The fun run starts at 6:30, the cost is $10 plus a can of food for the St. Maries Food Bank, and comes with a fun zombification makeover (that process starts at 4 p.m.).

Looking for more fun opportunities for the kiddos? We’ve got you covered. All. Week. Long.

The Heyburn PTO will have its annual Harvest Festival from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 26 at the elementary school gymnasium. Activities planned include a costume and pumpkin carving contests, bouncy house, cake walk, bingo, mini-golf, children’s games and prizes and pizza for dinner. This year’s game will include Monster Mash and Candy Corn Relay.

Vice President of Heyburn PTO Staci Yehle is heading the organization efforts for this year's Heyburn PTO's Harvest Festival. Candy donation collection bins have been placed at grocery stores in St. Maries.

“I think Monster Mash is going to be a huge hit,” organizer Staci Yehle said. “We will tape off a section of the gym, and gather a group of children, attaching a balloon to an ankle. Then they will run around and try to pop each other’s balloon. The last one with a balloon wins.”

Cash prizes will be awarded for 1st-3rd place winners of the costume contest in each of three age categories (0-4, 5-8 and 9-12). First prize is $25, second prize $15, and third $5. Judging begins at 6:30pm. Cash prizes will also be awarded in the pumpkin carving contest. Pumpkins must be checked in by 3 p.m. for judging. Winners will be announced at 5 p.m.

The Heyburn PTO is hoping to use money raised from the festival to help fund field trips for students this year. Budget cuts have eliminated most trips that elementary students typically attend each year. Call Mrs. Yehle at (208) 582-2534 for additional information or to volunteer.

The UpRiver PTO Halloween Carnival is from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 26 at the UpRiver School in Fernwood. A variety of booths, carnival games, a cake walk and food will be available. Activities include fortune telling, bingo, a haunted hallway, and a pumpkin carving and costume contest. Call the school at (208) 245-3650 for additional information.

The Kootenai School Spanish Club is organizing fall festivities this year. The Halloween Carnival is from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 30. Activities include a scarecrow auction, pumpkin decorating, cake walk, carnival games and a costume contest. Hot dogs and pulled pork sandwiches will be available for purchase. Students will create scarecrows to auction off at the event.

The club will use the money to help pay for a trip they have planned to Costa Rica in the spring. The festival is one of many fundraisers the group has organized during the last six months to raise money for the trip. Each student is responsible for taking leadership in one of the group’s monthly fundraising events.

Lakeside Elementary will again offer the Halloween parade 11:30 a.m. Oct. 31. Students are encouraged to dress up in costumes and walk from the school to the Wellness Center where they will go through various community booths before returning to the school. In case of rain, the parade will be inside at the school.

Almost forgot to mention! Another fun run opportunity: Oct. 26, Running Scared in Plummer at 9 a.m. run or walk in costume for a 3.5 mile course that starts at the Wellness Center. Entry fee is only $5.

Friends of the St. Maries Public Library will host its annual Harvest Night Oct. 31 at the St. Maries Library. Free games, books, crafts and a fishing pond will run from 5 to 7 p.m. Halloween Night.

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