Spooktacular Halloween Events

By Theresa Poalucci

How did a pagan Celtic festival turn into a holiday where consumer

spending tops $7,900,000,000. After Christmas, the once harvest

celebration brought over by Irish immigrants has become extremely

popular, ranking second in holiday sales in the U.S.
Halloween falls halfway between the fall equinox and the winter solstice therefore corresponding with the dates of October 31 and November 1. Because it was originally associated with the harvest, the pumpkins, apples and hay bales make sense. But why did it become such a big deal for children?
In the early 1900s, Halloween was rather controversial. The pranking had gotten out of hand according to Lesley Bannatyne, an author and folklorist who writes about Halloween.
The holiday became so unpalatable to adults that in 1950, President Harry Truman tried to rebrand Halloween as “Youth Honor Day,” Bannatyne wrote. (The Senate failed to act on the suggestion.) During this time, adults pushed the passing-out-of candy to kids, to encourage trick-or-treating over other destructive behaviors. The changing living arrangements of American families also contributed to an evolution in the holiday as  suburbs made trick-or-treating safe.
Sadly the days of letting your children run about the neighborhood unattended are gone. Now most municipalities make plans for children to gather in a safe environment to celebrate. In Oro Valley there are three main Halloween events.

Monster Mash 5k/10k
at Steam Pump Ranch
Saturday, October 14
4:00 pm to 9:00 pm
This event is more than just a run. Activities will include pumpkin decorating, Halloween crafts, a cartoon themed spooky maze, and a DJ playing haunted tunes. Food trucks will be on-site, and there will be plenty of Witches brew (root beer). There is a spook alley for tweens, teens and adults. A PG-rated Halloween movie will be screened.
All the activities are free including a free kids costumed fun run.! Registration for the 5k and 10k run is $50 through October 31 and $60 the day of the race. Registration is available by visiting www.RunSignUp.com.
Steam Pump Ranch is located at 10901 N Oracle Rd.

Halloween Spooktacular
Friday, October 27
5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Hay rides, costumed characters, and lots of candy make this event one that has become a tradition for trick-or-treaters in Oro Valley. The Oro Valley Community Center can accommodate 1,000 plus kids. Back by popular demand, R2D2 will on hand. The event is free.
The Oro Valley Community Center is located at 10555 N La Cañada Drive.

Doggie Dash ‘n Dawdle
Saturday, October 28
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
This fourth annual event features a two-mile Doggie Dash run or walk which requires registration. Cost is $10 if registered by October 13 or $15 after.  Visit orovalleyaz.gov to register online.
At the free dog festival portion, visitors can enjoy prizes, dog crafts, a dog costume contest, training demos, and visit with over 20 local dog organizations to get free dog stuff.
It takes place at the Canada Del Oro Riverfront Park, 551 W. Lambert Lane.