Gourds and ghouls coming to Oak Bay

Business Improvement Association's Halloween events given nod from Oak Bay council

Council hammered out a few kinks in response to the resident concerns over the Pumpkin Art on the Avenue during its first fall meeting Sept. 28.

The Oak Bay Business Improvement Association spearheads the event where pumpkin art lines the street and fills the park behind municipal hall.

At least one resident of Granite Street, with a direct view of the rented fencing that offers security of the large display in the park, reiterated last year’s concerns over the look of the fencing.

Because of the layout of the park – and its hedges and gardens – moving the fencing inside the hedges would cut the space available for use by roughly 25 per cent, said project co-ordinator Heather Leary.

“It would change the entire event,” she said, adding she will find fencing scrim, fabric panels, similar to what was used last year.

“That is going to be camouflaged to some degree,” Leary said.

Mayor Nils Jensen also asked Leary to consider moving the two eight-by-20-foot containers used as secure storage for a variety of items during Pumpkin Art away from the municipal lot where “parking is at a premium.”

Council approved the event and waived about $1,500 worth of municipal costs as it’s a community event.

Pumpkins on the Avenue will include five more Halloween gourds on the street poles (up to 40 from 35) stretching from Foul Bay Road to Monterey Avenue. The oak tree in front of municipal hall will again feature carved artwork  to help direct people to the Pumpkin Art display behind the hall.

Pumpkin Art on the Avenue features almost 500 pumpkins carved by John Vickers and each year new pumpkins are added to the displays. Pumpkin Art is open to the public Friday, Oct. 23 to 30 from 5 to 9 p.m. and on Oct. 31 from 5 to 10 p.m. Admission is by donation.

Trick-or-treaters return

Oak Bay Avenue will be closed from 1 to 6 p.m. Oct. 31 for the Trick or Treat on the Avenue, featuring entertainment, activities and food vendors.

The Oak Bay BIA event runs the Halloween day event from 2 to 5 p.m.

Last year’s event attracted about 600 trick or treaters and roughly 2,000 people, said organizer Heather Leary.

“They don’t fit on the sidewalk anymore.”