Count Dracula is set to rise from his coffin this weekend to join other ghouls haunting market grounds in downtown Trail.
Greater Trail residents can expect screams from Century 21 Kootenay Homes’ haunted house, one of the attractions at the city’s growing Spooktacular Halloween event, which now stretches across two days and kicks off with a trick or treat swim at the Greater Trail Aquatic and Leisure Centre from 6-8 p.m. tonight.
For the first time, the city has signed up for an additional outdoor Trail Market on the Esplanade to coincide with other haunted festivities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Beyond vendors, highlights include hay rides by Teck Trail Operations from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., roasting marshmallows with Trail Firefighters Local 941 at an on site fire pit and a Kootenay Savings Credit Union costume contest.
Attendees may also choose to join a costume walk to the Royal Theatre at 3:30 p.m., just in time to catch the Trail theatre’s free showing of “Hotel Transylvania” at 4 p.m. or take advantage of a free Halloween skate, hosted by Kiwanis, from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Trail Memorial Centre.
“This is the first time we’ve had an extra market outside on a Saturday, it’s in conjunction with Spooktacular and we thought it would enhance the event and bring new ideas to what we’re trying to do here,” explained Trail Coun. Eleanor Gattafoni Robinson.
“It’s kind of got a newer twist and obviously it’s in a new location, too, as in the past it’s been down by Ferraro Foods and now this year it’s on the Esplanade.”
Gattafoni Robinson plans to dress up but wouldn’t divulge what she’ll be disguised as.
She’ll have to see whether she dares enter the haunted house this year, seeing as the last time she came out the same door she went in.
“Let’s put it this way, I got in there and then I left,” she laughed. “I went in there with the ambassador girls the last time we had it, and they said, ‘Auntie Ellie you didn’t go all the way through.’”
Richard Daoust and his team of frightening realtors, which this year includes an un-dead prison mate and a witch brewing delightful treats made of “eyeballs and brains,” are experts on sending chills up the spine. The crew started with the massive enclosed haunted house years before the city established the official event and have stuck with it ever since.
“We enjoy participating in it, getting all dressed up and seeing little kids cry, it’s a lot of fun,” cackled Daoust. “No, in case one of the little kids gets very scared, we always scale it down when they come through.”
Market vendors are set to enjoy the glorious fall weather forecasted for Saturday before packing up and moving inside with the first indoor market scheduled for Nov. 8 at the Cominco gym.
“It’s been cooler but I mean whether there is 25 people there or 250 people there, it’s always a good thing in my world,” said Gattafoni Robinson. “I just think it’s been a huge success.”
The City of Trail and the Trail and District Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the Downtown Opportunities Action and Planning Committee (DOAC), have partnered to bring the popular event back. The fall event and the market were both brainchildren of the DOAC, an organization dedicated to sprucing up the core.