Green Halloween turns holiday eek-o-friendly

October 19, 2010

By Laura Geggel

As jack-o-lanterns haunt doorsteps, hay mazes, carnival rides and pumpkin painting are returning for the 10th annual Green Halloween Festival in the Issaquah Highlands.

“For our kids, it’s a good way to extend the Halloween season,” Laura Yellig said. “They always wear their costumes.”

This young trio of energized explorers finds its way through the hay maze during the 2009 Green Halloween Block Party in the Issaquah Highlands. By Greg Farrar

Adults and children alike get dressed up, but it’s hardly a prerequisite to have fun at the mad science booths, pony rides, carnival games or glow-in-the-dark miniature golf — although costumes are required for the kid and dog costume contest.

“I love seeing the kids and families come in costumes,” Highlands Council Event Coordinator Christy Garrard said.

Prizes for the costume contest will be provided by Issaquah businesses Le Chic Pet, Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop and Zeeks Pizza.

The highlands festival is a decade old, and three years ago it joined the Green Halloween grassroots movement. Green Halloween focuses on the three Gs, according to its website, including that Halloween be good for people, good for the planet and good for the community.

The three Gs ask consumers to examine the products they buy, making sure the products are healthy for families, have the least effect on landfills and are from businesses supporting the green effort.

“Our basic theme is to keep all of the fun in the holidays, but to make it a little healthier for kids and the planet,” Lynn Colwell, co-founder of Green Halloween, said.

Issaquah’s Halloween festival follows those protocols, Garrard said.

“The vendors we’re bringing in, we’re really trying to focus on folks with healthy living and sustainable green products,” she said.

While candy will be available, many of the treats will be of the healthier variety, including energy and granola bars and sugar-free gum.

Tickets for activities are $1, with most activities costing between one and three tickets. Cash, Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Participants can also buy a $20 bracelet, buying them unlimited access to all activities.

Last year, Yellig and her husband Joe Yellig took their two children to the festival, with the parents tag-teaming between volunteering at the inflatable toys and spending time with their children. Walking around the festival is a good way to run into neighbors and meet new people, Laura Yellig said.

“For us, it’s a really good way to get to know the businesses and support the highlands,” she said. “They always have neat booths with handouts and goodies.”

Laura Geggel: 392-6434, ext. 241, or lgeggel@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

If you go

Green Halloween Festival

  • 1011 N.E. High St.
  • Noon – 4 p.m. Oct. 23
  • Tickets: $1, or $20 for unlimited access to all activities
  • Volunteers are still needed to help set up the festival, collect tickets and man activities. Volunteers 13 or older should e-mail Christy Garrard at Christy.G@ihcouncil.org to learn more.
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