BONNERS FERRY — Businesses and members of the community utilized the Halloween holiday to celebrate and support one another for the various harvest celebrations. Parents bundled up themselves and their costume-clad children, and attended festivities around town, some beginning with pre-Halloween nights out for themselves.
The combination wine and beer bars, Heart Rocks Wines and The CrossTime Saloon, located on Kootenai Street in downtown Bonners Ferry, is gaining a reputation for celebrating Halloween in a way that attracts the artistic in elaborate costumes. The spooky holiday is at home in the underground, old style pub atmosphere.
Although the turnout was less than the previous year, the denizens of the night, the lovers of Halloween, the loyal customers, came out in style to enjoy the pulled pork dinner that was provided, and drink fine beer and wines on Oct. 27.
“It is always fun to do the Halloween thing,” said CrossTime Saloon owner Kris Lonborg. “Halloween is the one day of the year that you can be whatever you want to be.”
Despite the smaller turnout, the patrons were laughing, eating, and drinking in the full splendor of their costumes.
“I’m not to concerned about how many people show up, I’m just concerned with that they actually want to be here, and that they enjoy and appreciate what we are doing,” said Lonborg.
Halloween fans flocked to Big Daddy’s Bar and Grill in Porthill for their extravagant Halloween party on Saturday that featured a DJ, live music, and a bonfire. They noticed a significant increase of visitors than the previous year and the party was hopping, with a wide range of partygoers, from the seasoned to the youngsters.
“Halloween is the one time a year where people can go all out and express themselves creatively, and best of all, as a community,” said Judy Chen, who attended the party at Big Daddy’s. “I love to see what people come up with!”
Although Halloween is often thought of as a children’s holiday, the adults love to come out and play as well. Businesses benefit by providing an outlet for those wanting to enjoy the spooky celebration.
“I am thankful to have places like Big Daddy’s that provide a venue for people to do that,” said Chen, “and it’s a good opportunity for the business to bring people in that normally don’t come in, like me!”
Jack’s Club hosted a Halloween celebration as well, hosting a costume party as well as helping a local group raise money. The American Veteran Motorcycle Club hosted a fundraiser to assist local veterans during the evening. This is their second year putting on an event. Last year was at The Dirty Shame. They had raffle items and took donations for chili and cornbread. All of the proceeds go toward assisting local veterans with their needs.
On Oct. 31, the Kootenai River Brewing Co. hopped on the Halloween bandwagon at the last minute, wanting to provide their customers a place to go on Halloween itself, which landed on a Wednesday. Bartender Jeremiah Holes and owner Mike Naumann kept the spirit of Halloween alive and greeted guests as soon as they came in to enjoy Halloween dinner or beer.
The Bonners Ferry branch of Columbia Bank celebrated the holiday by decorating a Harry Potter themed room. The room was decorated with ‘floating’ candles, a head in a glass ball, a dragon peeking out of the wall, and many other fitting decorations to bring a wizarding feel to the room.
Super 1 Foods also added to the Halloween schenagins by hosting family friendly activities to customers. The deli gave out ice cream cones, the bakery hosted cookie decorating, there was a bean bag toss, face painting, a fish pond in the video department, and a cakewalk throughout the store.
There were many faces both dressed up for the occasion, and some that were not, which made their rounds visiting businesses, the Bonners Ferry High School, and various spots around town that hosted events for residents. First responders hosted their annual trick or treating stop at the National Guard Center as well, handing out candy and glow necklaces.
After all of the festivities and excitement, parents can relax for a moment, maybe sneak candy from the kids, and look onward to Thanksgiving.