Halloween comes to Oak Bay Avenue. Pumpkins line the Avenue as a preview for the Pumpkin Art on the Avenue happening in Oak Bay Village from Oct. 27 to 31. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

Halloween on the Avenue: pumpkin art, trick-or-treating, live music, and more.

Oak Bay Village businesses prepare for Pumpkin Art on the Avenue and Trick or Treat on the Avenue.

Every year, the businesses of Oak Bay Avenue join together to throw one of the most anticipated events of the year – for both adults and kids alike. It all began this week with the raising of the pumpkins.

Pumpkin Art on the Avenue

Oak Bay Avenue is beginning to look spooky now that Halloween pumpkins are hanging from the street poles. The pumpkins are a preview for the Pumpkin Art on the Avenue happening in Oak Bay Village from Oct. 27 to 31. The annual event, hosted by the Oak Bay Business Improvement Association (BIA), features hundreds and hundreds of pumpkins created by John Vickers that will be displayed in the green space behind Oak Bay Municipal Hall. The pumpkins range from funny to spooky with carvings featuring well-known personalities and characters such as the Royal Family, the Beatles, cartoon characters, prime ministers, presidents, Star Wars, and CBC history. This year, there will also be a display of pumpkins carved by Oak Bay High School students.

The event is open from 5 to 9 pm each evening and until 10 pm on Halloween night (Oct. 31). The BIA is excited to announce that donations to Pumpkin Art on the Avenue this year will benefit Oak Bay Sea Rescue and support their purchase of a new vessel.

For up-to-date details, follow the Facebook event page.

Trick or Treat on the Avenue

Tuesday, Oct. 31 from 2 – 5 pm

On Halloween, Oak Bay Village businesses, from Foul Bay Road to Monterey Avenue, will host a giant community trick-or-treat from 2 to 5 pm. This event has become so popular that Oak Bay Avenue in the Village gets shut down to traffic so that families can safely trick-or-treat down the Avenue. Look for the pumpkin poster in the window of participating merchants.

There will also be live music and entertainment. There will be stilt walkers, hula hoopers and jugglers. Arf The Dog will provide live music. Oak Bay Library will be set up with a Halloween button-making station and will have candy for trick-or-treaters. Theatre SKAM will be open for Halloween storytelling in the Pop Up Theatre from 3 – 5 pm. Paul Kilshaw will perform Halloween magic and balloon twisting.

“I really, really enjoy Trick or Treat on the Avenue,” says BIA past-president, Elizabeth Smith. “We have families that come themed. We’ve had Star Wars families and Curious George and Man in the Yellow Hat. It’s great. The whole family gets dressed up. It is absolutely outstanding to just watch them come through. People mix and mingle, there are street performers and great music for the adults.”

The pet costume contest is back during Trick or Treat on the Avenue. Sign up at the RE/MAX Camosun tent and parade your pet past the judges at 4 PM. Prizes for best-dressed.

Stop by Pumpkin Art on the Avenue following the Trick or Treat!

For up-to-date details, follow the Facebook event page.

Bonfire and Costume Parade

When Trick or Treat on the Avenue is done, head over to Fireman’s Park (off St. Ann’s Road) for a costume parade, bonfire, and food. Oak Bay Firefighters and Kiwanis Club of Oak Bay host the annual event.

Children will have the opportunity to help keep the bonfire under control with the assistance of firefighters by spraying water onto the bonfire with a real fire hose.

In other Halloween news:

Teal Pumpkin Project

An Oak Bay resident is promoting the Teal Pumpkin Project, an initiative that encourages households to also offer non-food treats to trick or treaters. This project stems from a rise in food allergies and is intended to create a more inclusive holiday. A teal pumpkin on the porch indicates a household offering alternatives for kids with food allergies – non-food treats such as glow sticks, stickers, or small toys. There is an online map to show participating households.

Have a fun and safe Halloween. See you on the Avenue!

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

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