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Caspar to host Halloween festivities
Caspar to host Halloween Parade, Haunted House, and Storytellers
The Gorse Monster will walk again at sunset on Thursday, October 31! That's the day of the fourth annual Halloween parade and celebration in Caspar, which this year will also include a Haunted School House at the Caspar Community Center.
The event is designed for young children, though in past years a great many older kids and adults have participated as well. "We encourage costumes for everyone," says Jerry Juhl, the parade organizer, "and we discourage parade watchers. Everyone is invited to march!" Most people do — the whole parade route is only a couple of hundred yards long, negotiable for even the youngest trick-or-treaters.
This year for the first time the parade will begin and end at the new Caspar Community Center, formerly the old Caspar Schoolhouse, and because there is now a proper venue for it, a Haunted House will be open to all after the parade, or, to be precise, The Caspar Haunted Schoolhouse! Dalen Anderson and Will Geiger are in charge of the event, and they promise those who are brave enough to enter will find the principal's dungeon, the deranged Cafeteria lady, and of course, the medical officer, Nurse Hatchet, to mention just a few. "The event is open to all," explains Geiger, "but it might be a bit too scary for the very young kids." A donation will be requested at the door.
Early Halloween activities will begin at the community center at 4:00 with face painting and craft projects organized by Lynette Anderson and her team of Casparado moms. Soon thereafter Mendocino's legendary Steel Band, Kevin and the Coconuts will fill the town with Caribbean rhythms from their informal bandstand in the center's parking lot.
The Gorse Monster, Caspar's answer to the Chinese New Years Dragon, is due to appear at 4:30, signaling the start of the parade. Marchers will follow the beast along the short parade route accompanied by what organizers term, "some ghostly surprises." This year the Gorse Monster, which was created by local sculptor Tommy Brown, will be accompanied by bagpipes played by Peter Kapp. The parade will loop around, returning to the Community Center where candy will be passed out to all children. On display will be a huge jack-o-lantern carved from a giant pumpkin raised by Zach Rasmusso n of Anderson Valley. The person who comes closest to guessing the weight of the pumpkin will get two free dinners at La Playa Mexican Restaurant. While Kevin and the Coconuts play, children's activities will continue with a Cake Walk taking place at 5:15.
The haunted house opens its doors at 5:30 and inspire terror in all who venture forth until it closes at 7:00.
But that is not the end of the evening's festivities! At 8:00 the adults get their treat when local storytellers take the to the stage. "Oasis" Darryl Hasten, Mitch Clogg, Eleanor Cooney, and Marco McClean will present macabre tales for the mature and fearless. Cooney, a noted Mendocino author, has penned original material for herself and Hasten, while Clogg has written his own bizarre story and McClean is expected to be shockingly weird. Again, donations will be asked for at the door.
The Caspar Community invites everyone on the North Coast to come enjoy a spooky night. Proceeds from the donations will benefit the Caspar Community Center.
written by Jerry Juhl for the Mendocino Beacon, 10/24/02
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