Mid Island communities are pulling out all the stops to ensure an enjoyable — and busy — Halloween in 2015.
From the live music and fireworks of the Corcarnival in remote Meadowood to the trick-or-treat walk sponsored by businesses in downtown Qualicum Beach, a wide range of Halloween fun will be available to residents of all ages.
Some of the fun begins ahead of Oct. 31, including pumpkin patch farm tours, the Great Pumpkin Paint Off at the McMillan Arts Centre tomorrow at 4 p.m., the Spooktacular at Storybook Village in Qualicum Beach Oct. 27 from 5:30-7 p.m., and the Ceilidhoween concert and costume party, featuring live music from Celtic Chaos, Oct. 30 at Rotary House in Qualicum Beach.
Here are a few of the choices available for a ghoulish good time this Halloween:
• Tiger Lily Farm’s annual Scarecrow Forest and Pumpkin Patch tour, each Saturday in October. With regular farm admission of $8.75 or $32.50 per family, ride the wagon through the scarecrows and on to the pumpkin patch where you can pick your own fresh pumpkin for carving. Remaining dates Oct. 24 and Oct. 31, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
• Parksville’s Resort Drive Community presents 400-plus pumpkins along Resort Drive Oct. 29th-Nov. 1. Come into any resort office to vote for your favourite pumpkin patch and receive a “treat”. Lit pumpkins will be displayed from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. nightly. Walk, stroll, or drive to see some of the most interesting jack-o-lanterns the Island has to offer. Fun for all age groups, including small children.
• Celtic Chaos will host and evening of singing, dancing and storytelling with its first — and perhaps annual — Ceilidhoween. Friday, Oct. 30, at the Rotary House in Qualicum. Doors open at 6:30 and the show starts at 7 p.m. to encourage folks with young families to attend. Tickets are $15 per adult; children 16-under accompanied by an adult are free, and tickets will be on sale soon.
• The 2015 Coombs Candywalk returns to the Arrowsmith Agricultural Grounds, a long-running and popular event that includes a cakewalk, on-site concession and a scary Haunted House, hosted by Ballenas Secondary dry grad, with a small admission fee for the older kids and adults! Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Oct 31 with activities running until a fireworks show 8 p.m. finishes off the evening.
• Enjoy Halloween Errington Style at the Community Park Oct. 31. The fun starts with the trail of spooks where the children will receive plenty of candy then gather around the big bonfire and enjoy some complimentary hot chocolate at the coffee shop as well as hot dogs served by the Errington Fire Department. A fireworks display about 7:45 p.m., as soon as the Pumpkin Trail is finished.
• Meadowood ‘Corcarnival’ Halloween Extravganza, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 31, Meadowood Community Park. Live band, karaoke, bonfire, concession, kiddies corner, very scary walk; fireworks 8:30 p.m. Free admission.
• The 2015 Nanoose Bay Halloween Walk is set for 6-9 p.m. Oct. 31 at 2525 Northwest Bay Road. All ages are welcome, but please leave pets at home. Entrance is $5 per person or $20 for a family of five. Children two and under are free. Entrance fee includes cookie and cocoa at the finish, and two laps around the walk. Flashlights may be used to light your way on the road, but please do not use them within the walk.
• The Qualicum Beach Downtown Business Association invites children downtown for their third annual free daylight trick-or-treat event. Costumed children 12 and under can follow a trail of orange and black balloons and enjoy treats provided by the downtown business community from 3-5 p.m. and keep at it until the fireworks in Community Park at 7:45 p.m.
Participating businesses will have a poster and the balloons and other activities include spooky stories at the library, edible halloween crafts at Courtyard Café, free photos for kids in costume at Pharmasave, scary sing-along songs at TOSH Arts Centre and a kids’ colouring contest at Lefty’s Fresh Food Restaurant.