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Plenty of options for Halloween fun

Halloween is traditionally a festive time on the Plateau, and this year is no different. Various activities are being planned, some by non-profit groups and some commercial ventures. Here's a look at some of the offerings.

Kids and Cole Street

As usual, Cole Street will be closed to traffic on Halloween, so kids can go door to door as merchants pass out candy. Kids should gather at the parking lot at Cole Street and Initial Avenue at 4:45 p.m., then parade down Cole beginning at 5. Also, there will be the traditional merchant costume contest, with visitors doing the judging.

A new addition this year is "Pumpkins on Parade," a pumpkin carving display sponsored by the Enumclaw Downtown Partnership and The Courier-Herald. All are invited to bring their carved pumpkins to the corner of Cole Street and Myrtle Avenue. Participants are eligible to win Downtown Dollars ($25, $15 and $10 prizes will be awarded) and need not be present at the 6:30 drawing to win.

"Haunted Gauntlet"

The annual haunted house, spearheaded by Stan Osborn and offered in conjunction with the Enumclaw Parks and Recreation Department, opens Friday in new quarters.

This year's production, billed as the "Haunted Gauntlet and Battersby Asylum," will be staged at 911 Battersby Ave., the former home of Industrial Skills. It will operate nightly, through Oct. 30, from 6 to 10; then, on Halloween night, doors will be open until 11. The one difference on Halloween night will be a special "scare-free" time from 6 to 7 p.m.

Built with the help of Enumclaw High School students, who share in the profits, the haunted house is billed as "potentially traumatic" and is not recommended for children younger than 10.

Admission is $5 for guests 12 and younger, $6 for all others.

For more information, visit the Haunted Gauntlet Web site (www.scareclaw.com) or call Parks and Recreation at 360-825-3594.

Maris Farms

Maris Farms, on the Sumner-Buckley Highway, has this year introduced a haunted woods at the 40-acre former dairy farm, where a corn maze and pumpkin patch have become a fall family destination during the past four years.

"The Maris Witch Project" opened Sept. 27, putting a scare in the air for a five-week run. The haunted woods will take "victims" through a little more than a mile worth of trails (including a patch of corn rows) carved out of several acres of woods at the back of the farm.

"It's a first of its kind at this level for the Pierce County area," said farm owner Dale Maris. "There's plenty of haunted houses, but nobody with a large haunted woods and this sort of set-up."

"You won't leave the woods without having your heart jump a few times," said Andy Maris, architect of the venue.

Not only are there be plenty of sets and actors speckled throughout the trails, but a few special surprises for folks who wait in line to enter the woods.

"The goal is to have the 'show' start for folks the moment they get out of their car," Andy Maris said. "We want them to be entertained from start to finish."

The event costs $10 per person and was scheduled for 16 dates, including the entire last week of October. The traditional corn maze and pumpkin patch are also open.

For information, call 888-235-5439 or visit www.marisfarms.com

Farm Fresh Produce

This destination on state Route 410, between Buckley and Bonney Lake, continues to grow. This year, owners are providing a corn maze, haunted house, hay rides, a special sling shot, a hay maze and the traditional pumpkin patch.

The haunted house is more of a family affair until 6 p.m., then gets scarier. The corn maze is unique this year, as it includes live animals in several locations. And winners in the apple sling shot ($1 for three tries at a target) receive a free pumpkin as their prize.

Costs are $4 for the corn maze, $3 for the haunted house and $1 for the hay ride, or purchase a combo pass for $7 (good for all three attractions). The hay maze is free.

Farm Fresh Produce is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. It will operated through Halloween night.

South Prairie

The town of South Prairie is sponsoring a children's Halloween party from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the South Prairie Community Center, at 350 Highway 162 East.

For additional information, contact the South Prairie Town Hall at 360-897-8878, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.

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