Green Halloween Festival scares up fun, frights
October 23, 2012
By Christina Corrales-Toy
The leaves around Issaquah may form an autumnal rainbow of yellows, reds and browns, but it’s going to be a green Halloween as the Issaquah Highlands Council gets set to celebrate the 12th annual Green Halloween Festival on Oct. 27.
The festival gets its name through its partnership with Green Halloween, a locally founded movement to make all holidays healthier and more sustainable, said Christy Garrard, Highlands Council special events planner.
“We partnered with Green Halloween because it really fit with the built green philosophy of the Issaquah Highlands urban village concept,” she said.
The outdoor, family-friendly festival kicks off with a bang at noon, when dancers of all ages will gather in front of Blakely Hall for Thrill the World, a worldwide attempt to break the record for the largest simultaneous dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”
Festival attendees are encouraged to try their best zombie impression and join in on the iconic dance routine.
“I’ll tell you, that dance is not easy to learn,” Garrard said. “I tried to learn it last year and I got part of it, and then I just had to fake the rest.”
If you go
Green Halloween Festival
Immediately after the “Thriller” dance, the littlest ghouls and goblins are invited to participate in a mini-flash mob as Katie Wygant, of Sound Body Fitness, leads the little ones in a routine to the legendary Halloween tune, “Monster Mash.”
The festival will end at 4 p.m. with an encore performance of “Thriller,” but there is a multitude of fun to be had before then, Garrard said.
Similar to past events, kids can enjoy carnival rides, inflatables and pony rides. Tickets are a $1 each, but for $20, parents can purchase an activity bracelet for four hours of unlimited fun for their child.
Attendees can also receive an activity ticket for every two canned food items they donate to benefit the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank.
There will also be several vendors on hand, providing healthy snacks for little trick-or-treaters. Title sponsors Safeway and Highlands Dentistry, as well as several local businesses and nonprofits will have booths.
“The kids all leave with a very full bag,” Garrard said. “So we’ll have everything from granola bars and fruit leathers to healthy versions of candy. We don’t ban candy from the event, but we do encourage folks to bring healthier alternatives.”
A new element to this year’s event is the Trick or Trot Fun Run 5K hosted by Highlands Physical Therapy, which takes place at 8 a.m., before the festival starts. Each finisher will receive a T-shirt and a goody bag.
“It’s just a fun run,” Garrard said. “It’s not a timed event or a sanctioned event or anything like that. We hope people will come in their costumes and run through the woods and then around the community.”
The run starts at Central Park in the Issaquah Highlands and participants are encouraged to register early at www.ihwebsite.com to guarantee T-shirt size availability.
The festival takes place in and around Blakely Hall and Village Green Park in the Issaquah Highlands, but it’s open to all Eastside communities.
“I love that it is community-produced, but it is for the greater community,” Garrard said. “We advertise it to the greater Eastside, so it’s not just a highlands-centric event.”
It’s also a great way for the highlands community to get together and share their pride in their neighborhood, added Nina Milligan, festival co-director.
“It’ll be a fun time,” she said. “This community likes to get together and they like the opportunity to see their neighbors.”