5 Things

Halloween weekend is here, and it’s no surprise all our events this week center on the holiday. Here’s a look at Halloween happenings in the area.

1. The Ottumwa High School Student Council is hosting its annual Children’s Halloween Party from 5-7:30 p.m. Friday in the OHS cafeteria. This free event sponsored by is open to children in preschool through sixth grade. Activities include witch hat ring toss, mummy bowling, hungry hungry monsters, paper pumpkin decorating, spooky bean bag toss, cake walk and a haunted library.

2. The Ottumwa Community Children’s Playhouse Halloween dance runs from 6-8 p.m. Friday at Bridge View Center. It is pen to kids in kindergarten through sixth grade and OCCP alum. Admission is $5 for kids with parents admitted free. There will be a costume contest and door prizes. Parents, enjoy a kid-free night and come pick your children up at the end of the night.

3. Standing Hampton performs a Halloween Bash at 8 p.m. Saturday at Bridge View Center. Costumes are encouraged for the party but not necessary. It’s open to those 21 and over with a $10 cover charge. Attendees can reserve a table for a minimum of six people now, with payment in advance, by calling 641-684-7000. Seating is limited, so those interested are encouraged to make reservations early. Standing Hampton performs musical nuggets from the 1970s, 1980s and beyond. The Des Moines-based group has been performing for 20 years with more than 1,000 performances.

4. Get in the spooky spirit with the Creature Concert, Indian Hills’ fall choral concert, at 3 p.m. Sunday at St. John Auditorium. Enjoy a performance of memorable music about monsters and creatures on Halloween under the direction of Dr. Janene Sheldon. Admission is free.

5. Trick-or-treat night will run from 5:30-8 p.m. Sunday in Ottumwa. Centerville hours are 6-8 p.m. Parents are encouraged to dress children in reflective clothing and consider nontoxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives to masks, which can limit or block eyesight. They should also review the route with the children and a agree on a specific time for them to return home; a parent or other adult should accompany young trick-or-treaters. Homeowners should make sure to remove tripping hazards on their porch and walkway and should consider using battery-powered jack-o-lantern lights rather than real candles or flames. Those using candles should place pumpkins well away from the path of trick-or-treaters and make sure paper or cloth decorations won’t be blown into the flame. Children are reminded not to eat any treats until they are checked by an adult. They should also let their parents know where they are going, only go places with a porch light on, remain on well-lit streets, always use the sidewalk and obey all traffic and pedestrian regulations. Motorists are encouraged to drive slow and watch closely for children running into the street. If a trick-or-treater or homeowner is not feeling well, they are asked not to participate.

Bonus: Enjoy trick-or-treating around the Centerville Square from 5-6 p.m. Friday, then settle in for Centerville Spooky Cinema, featuring “Hocus Pocus,” at 6:30 p.m. on the courthouse lawn. Concessions will be available from Centerville Young Professionals.

— Features Editor Tracy Goldizen can be reached via email at tgoldizen@ottumwacourier.com or followed on Twitter @CourierTracy.

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Tracy Goldizen is the Courier's features and magazine editor, leading production of the award-winning "Ottumwa Life" and the Courier's other magazine offerings. She began work with the Courier on the copy desk.

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