EAST TAWAS – Halloween enthusiasts in Iosco County will have no problem getting their fix of both the fun and the frightening, right here at home, considering the abundance of activities which have been planned throughout the area.
A schedule of events appears below, followed by a list of safety tips and reminders for the trick-or-treaters who will be out and about in celebration of Halloween.
East Tawas and Tawas City
A slightly early start to the spooky season will be underway in Tawas City on Saturday, Oct. 30, beginning with Lakeview Manor Nursing & Rehabilitation’s second annual Candy Pass, from 1-3 p.m.
For the outdoor occasion, pumpkin pails will be filled with goodies and placed outside the residents’ windows, so they can see the ghosts and goblins as they pass through.
As is also the case with MediLodge of Tawas City’s event, described below, anyone wishing to contribute is welcome to provide candy donations.
Lakeview Manor is located at 408 N. Fifth Ave., and more information about the Candy Pass is available by calling 362-2211.
Timing things out so that the youngsters in the area can easily go from one facility to the other, are those from MediLodge of Tawas City. They have also arranged a trick-or-treating event for this Saturday on their property, which is just a quick walk from the neighboring Lakeview Manor.
MediLodge is located at 400 North St. West, and the sweets will be offered from 2-4 p.m.
With COVID-19 continuing to place a limit on who is allowed in certain facilities, MediLodge residents, like those in the adjacent building, are not able to welcome guests indoors. However, they will still be able to look out from their windows and enjoy the spectacle of costumed participants, who will walk around the exterior of the property to collect their candy.
For further details, staff may be reached by dialing 362-8645.
Another pre-Halloween happening will take place in Tawas City this Saturday, from noon to 5 p.m., at Brycelynn’s Pumpkin Patch.
The family-owned operation, which opened to the public a few years ago, kicked off its 2021 season earlier this month. It has been offering such games and activities as pumpkin bowling, photographs with festive fall décor and gourd painting, as well as the sales of corn stalks, straw bales, and, of course, pumpkins.
Brycelynn’s will cap off its season on Oct. 30, with a Halloween Costume Party. Additional games and activities will be incorporated into the event, and there is still a chance to purchase a variety of pumpkins, for those who have yet to do their Halloween carvings.
The pumpkin patch is located at 530 Miller Rd., with visitors being directed to the driveway with the red door and red roof barn.
The entertainment in Tawas City will continue on the actual day of Halloween, Oct. 31, which falls on a Sunday this year.
One such event is the Trunk or Treat that will be held at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, which is situated at 720 Second St.
All are invited to join in on the games, refreshments and goodies, which will be offered from 2-4 p.m. For further questions, church representatives may be reached at 362-5712.
Starting things off at 2 p.m. on Halloween, as well, will be those from the Tawas Bay Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE), who are presenting their annual Trunk or Treat event.
A cupcake walk will also take place, with a 50¢ donation per round, as will the sales of tickets for a large raffle basket. All proceeds will then be donated to the Tawas City Fire Department’s Rescue/Recovery Dive Team.
Raffle tickets may be purchased by anyone who stops into the club, located at 803 W. Bay St. (US-23) in East Tawas, which is also where the Halloween event will he hosted.
Volunteers are being sought, as well, to assist in such ways a bringing their cars to pass out candy during the Trunk or Treat. For more information on lending a hand, or to learn more about the event itself, visit the FOE Facebook page at facebook.com/tawasbayeagles2588/, or call 362-3201.
An annual fall favorite in the community will then take place just a short distance from the FOE, as the East Tawas Business Association (ETBA) is set to host its Halloween Parade and trick-or-treating fun, starting at 4:30 p.m.
Whether walking in the procession or enjoying the entertainment from the sidelines, all attendees are welcome to dress up in costume for the occasion, which will take place downtown on Newman Street.
As soon as the parade wraps up, event goers can visit the downtown businesses, which will be giving away candy outside of their stores.
The trick-or-treating festivities will then continue as, after visiting the shops, this is typically when the youngsters in the area begin scattering throughout the neighborhoods to collect more sweets. Historically, the conclusion of the ETBA activity at about 5:30 p.m. has served as the unofficial start of trick-or-treating in East Tawas, which generally runs until 8 p.m.
This Saturday, Oct. 30, Roger’s Family Foods in Hale will offer a Storewide Trick-or-Treat, from 5-7 p.m., with prizes and goodies. The business is located at 3195 M-65 and, for more information, contact staff at 728-2711.
From 5-7 p.m. on Halloween, the Hale United Methodist Church will hold a “Trick or Trunk or Treat” event at the church, which is located at 201 W. Main St.
Halloween in Hale will also see the return of some traditional community events in 2021, including the annual activities at American Legion Post 422.
From 4-7 p.m. this Sunday, a Trunk or Treat will take place in the parking lot of the venue, at 429 W. Main St.
The Plainfield Township Fire Department (PTFD) will also be hosting their yearly Trunk or Treat celebration on Oct. 31. All are invited to collect candy and/or help pass out the sweets in front of the fire hall, which is located at 220 N. Washington St. (M-65) in Hale, from 5-7 p.m.
Those wanting to set up a trunk are asked to message the PTFD on their Facebook page, at facebook.com/ptfd500, or talk directly to a department member so that they can get an idea of how many participants there will be.
Those in Whittemore will be getting a jump start on the Halloween fun this season, beginning with a Trunk or Treat on Friday, Oct. 29. Presented by the Whittemore-Prescott Area Schools PTO, it will take place in the parking lot of the elementary school, at 8878 Prescott Rd., from 6-8 p.m.
The event is open to the public, and parking is available at the neighboring high school building – simply follow the walking path to the elementary school upon your arrival.
Prizes will be awarded to the top three best decorated trunks/displays, and organizers note that individuals, groups and businesses are all invited to participate and pass out goodies. Donations of candy are also welcome, and those interested in participating in the Trunk or Treat are asked to message the PTO Facebook group. To do so, and to learn more details about the event, visit facebook.com/groups/2970207393200603/.
Also coming to the community this weekend will be the first-ever Trunk or Treat hosted by the Friends of the Whittemore Library, in conjunction with Whittemore Speedway.
Slated for 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30, it will be held on the racetrack of Michigan’s oldest speedway, located at 220 W. State St. (M-65).
Anyone interested in handing out candy is asked to go to the pit area, while those who wish to gather goodies during the Trunk or Treat are to enter through the grandstand side. Participants opting to dress up their vehicles can message the Friends of the Whittemore Library, at facebook.com/Friends-of-Whittemore-Library-110388034068463 for further information.
With the Halloween holiday fast approaching, locals are getting geared up to host a number of events for parents and children, starting today (Wednesday), with the Great Pumpkin Carving, which is set to begin at 5:30 p.m.
Volunteers are needed to carve pumpkins at the former cue stick factory near the Pinecrest Cemetery in Oscoda. The former factory is located at 3202 Railroad St., Oscoda.
Each year, for approximately 30 years, Joey Beckner, family members and locals have carved hundreds of pumpkins in memory of Beckner’s brother. As mentioned, carving will begin this Wednesday after 5 p.m., and will continue each day until Friday.
On Saturday, in continuation of the Great Pumpkin Carving, all pumpkins will be distributed throughout the cemetery from 3-4 p.m., and will be lit at dusk. The public is invited to view the spectacle on foot or in their vehicles. Questions can be directed to Beckner by calling or texting him at 616-430-6329.
Starting Thursday, Oct. 28, Oscoda High School (OHS) Robotics Team 7250 will be hosting a Halloween Costume Contest at OHS at 6 p.m. Admission is $5 for ages 13 and older and $2 for 12 years old and under.
According to the team, concessions are available to everyone by donation and entertainment will be provided by the cheerleaders, choir and hosts, Team 7250.
Categories of prizes include most original costume, funniest costume, scariest costume and people’s choice, which will be determined by donations in each contestants’ can.
For frights for adults, on Friday, Oct. 29, Amanda Bergeron will be hosting the first Witches Night Out at 7 p.m. The group will be meeting at To The Moon & Back, located at 119 S. State St. in Oscoda. The event is similar to a Girl’s Night Out, with a twist, witches.
Those interested will enjoy spooktacular shopping and dining. Grab your friends, call the gremlin sister and put on your fanciest witch garb. Participants will enjoy a store discount, drink and food specials.
Local businesses interested in participating are asked to contact Bergeron on Facebook or e-mail her at [email protected].
Also on Friday and throughout the weekend, including Halloween, the Jackson family will continue to present frights with the Spooky House Tour, from 8-11 p.m., located at 8001A N. Alaska St. in Oscoda.
“We’re really big fans of Halloween,” said organizer Sandra Jackson.
The family encourages guests to tour the old wicked witch’s house, and added, they may pay a visit during the tour. Jackson said; however, visitors don’t have to be afraid because her cackle is worse than her bite. The haunted house will commence, unless it is actively raining.
The one exception will be Halloween night where, regardless of weather, the attraction will be open. If anyone is interested in the attraction or volunteering, Jackson can be contacted at 305-7831.
Area 41 (a play off Area 51) Haunted Attraction will serve up its final fright on Saturday, from 7-10 p.m. Tickets will be sold until 9:30 p.m., so organizers encourage getting in line early.
The attraction, similar to years past, is presented by Charter Township of Oscoda, Carroll Broadcasting and Old Orchard Park. The cost to attend is $5 (cash only) per person, for ages 5 and up. Tickets will be sold starting at 7 p.m. Additionally, there will be snacks available for purchase.
It will be hosted in the Aune Medical Center, at 5671 N. Skeel Ave. in Oscoda. For more information, contact Old Orchard Park staff at 739-7814 before 4 p.m. daily.
Starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning, To the Moon & Back will host a Halloween Movie Day, until 3 p.m. They will be showing “Nightmare Before Christmas” and “The Addams Family.”
It’s a completely free event with candy, apple cider and donuts. Guests can also take a picture with their Halloween dino in front of their mural. To receive a coupon for the store, wear your costume.
To the Moon & Back in located at 119 S. State St. in Oscoda. For more details, contact co-owner Lain MacKenzie at 569-3242.
Beginning at 4 p.m. on Halloween, Lakewood Shores POA will host Trunk or Treat Heroes and Villains at Aaron Park until 7 p.m. Locals are welcome to bring their cars, decorate them, wear costumes and pass out candy to all the goblins and ghouls.
Starting at 5 p.m., will be the judging of the costumes and vehicle contest. There will be prizes given for the best costume and theme. Additionally, there will be treats available, including apple cider and donuts.
From 5-8 p.m., the Oscoda/AuSable Senior Center will be hosting a Halloween Trunk or Treat in their big parking lot. They will have entertainment provided by J.D. Hock and line dance performers, according to Secretary of the Senior Center Board Janice Wilber.
The venue is located at 653 State St. in Oscoda. For more information, call 739-8807.
At 6 p.m., Wendigoh Pictures will host their second annual Halloween Party. The one-acre house will have tons of props, decorations, animatronics and candy to enjoy. The house is located at 7884 E. Golfview Circle in Oscoda.
Although Halloween is a time for both frights and fun while creating memories, young revelers still need to be alert when they stroll the streets in search of candy. A list of trick-or-treating and other Halloween-related safety tips appears below.
The following reminders for trick-or-treaters and their parents, have been shared by East Tawas Fire Department Chief Bill Deckett:
• Be sure that costumes have eye holes and ear holes large enough not to limit vision or hearing.
• Clothing should fit snugly to reduce the danger of getting caught in something or cause tripping.
• Be certain that the costume doesn’t restrict breathing.
• Ensure that costumes – including hats, wigs, beards and scarfs – are flame resistant and, again, do not restrict vision.
• Include reflective areas on the attire, especially on the back.
• Costume accessories should only be soft and flexible props which have no sharp points and do not appear to be authentic.
• Do not use anything with a flame as part of a costume.
• Watch out for Jack-o’-lanterns which may have candles inside that could ignite a costume.
• Finally, review Stop, Drop and Roll should a costume ever catch fire.
Also sharing advice is Tawas City Fire Department Chief Steve Masich, who noted the following:
• Decorations – Many common decorations, for example cornstalks and dried flowers, are very flammable. It’s important to keep such decorations away from any open flames and heat sources, such as candles and light bulbs.
• Exits – Please keep in mind that exits are not good places to put decorations. Make sure that any decorations you have are not blocking any escape routes.
• Candles – Using candles for decorations can add an air of mystery and spectacle to the holiday, but it’s important to make sure you use them safely. Keep candles in a well-attended area, out of the path of potential trick-or-treaters. Fire is dangerous, so keep an eye on any open flames and extinguish them before you leave the area.
• Jack-o’-lanterns – NFPA suggests using glow sticks or fake candles for your jack-o’-lanterns, as these are the safest option. If you do use real candles, be sure to light them carefully with long fireplace matches and keep them away from any other decorations which could easily catch fire.
• Costumes – As much fun as capes are, NFPA is recommending to avoid loose, billowy fabric as these can easily ignite. If you are making your own costume, avoid loosely woven fabrics, such as linen and cotton, as these can be very flammable.
To keep Halloween a safe and fun holiday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is also offering suggestions to keep loved ones safe and to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Because many of our young Michiganders are not yet eligible to be vaccinated, we urge everyone to take precautions to participate safely,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive. “There are still ways to celebrate safely, and the MDHHS guidance provides tips for trick-or-treaters and their parents along with homeowners who wish to pass out treats.”
Tips for all persons include getting the COVID-19 vaccine if you are eligible (ages 12 and over), staying home if you are sick, wearing a mask which covers both the mouth and nose, washing hands often and/or using hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol and coughing or sneezing into your elbow.
MDHHS also strongly advises adults and children ages 6 months and older to get their annual flu vaccine.
The department lists the following tips for trick-or-treaters and parents:
• Talk with children about Halloween safety and expectations.
• Stay outdoors for activities, particularly if participants are not vaccinated.
• Trick or treat in small groups.
• Avoid congregating in groups around houses.
• If indoors or in crowded outdoor settings, wear a face mask covering both the mouth and nose (a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask).
• Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask if wearing both causes difficulty breathing. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
The next set of tips from MDHSS, as follows, are items for homeowners to consider:
• Distribute candy on a table to eliminate direct contact.
• Consider handing out candy in an open space where distancing is possible, rather than from the front door.
• Consider a neighborhood costume parade, which is an easy way to keep safe space between children.