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Halloween display tradition always a big draw for Parksville neighbourhood

As many as 600 trick-or-treaters expected to descend on Ponderosa Drive
Hundreds of trick-or-treaters are expected to visit Ponderosa Drive in Parksville this Halloween. (Submitted photo)

As many as 600 trick-or-treaters are expected to descend on Ponderosa Drive in Parksville this Halloween to check out the neighbourhood’s elaborate displays.

It’s been a tradition for at least seven or eight years, according to Maggie Tietjen, whose residence turns into the Pirate House every Oct. 31 since she and her husband moved in five years ago, and learned some of their neighbours get more than a little excited about Halloween.

“This is what they live for,” Tietjen said. “They’ve got more decorations for Halloween than Christmas. And they just love it. They like to see the kids. They both get dressed up in costume. They’re outside greeting them. Every year they add to their menagerie of skeletons.”

Jumping spiders and cackling, singing witches also await trick-or-treaters. Around the corner on Sandlewood, another neighbour has a new animatronic attraction each year, Tietjen said, including a shark tank one year.

The Pirate House was open through two COVID Halloweens, although the numbers dipped to about 200 in 2020. That year they and some neighbours were among very few handing out candy, according to Tietjen.

“So many parents thanked us for keeping the spirit of Halloween alive,” she said.

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Children from Coombs, Errington and Nanoose Bay come out — Tietjen said it being a safe place to trick-or-treat and its location near Springwood Elementary School have helped make it popular.

“My husband was on a plane once, his seatmate said, ‘oh yeah, we come there from Nanoose Bay’,” she said. “I think it’s word of mouth and it’s just grown every year.”

She said people living in the neighbourhood are supportive, with many venturing to check out the displays and the smiles on the children’s faces.

“I don’t even want to tell you how many boxes of candy we’ve got here,” she said with a laugh.

Do you know of a PQB property or street that’s well-decorated for Halloween? Email and we’ll compile a list to share online.

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Kevin Forsyth

About the Author: Kevin Forsyth

As a lifelong learner, I enjoy experiencing new cultures and traveled around the world before making Vancouver Island my home.
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