RUPERT — The Rupert Square will be filled with spook inspired activities for 13 days this month during Harvest Haunt, which includes ghost tours of the businesses around the park, an exhibition of reptiles and spiders, a chalk the walk event, laser tag, pumpkin painting classes and a Halloween pumpkin vignette display that will be judged.
“The whole idea behind it is keeping people involved and active, especially during this time,” Rupert Mayor Mike Brown said. “These events add a lot to the city and they keep people from going stir crazy.”
Brown said the city leaders’ vision of the park renovation was to restore it as a gathering place.
“Now that we’ve got it, we’ve got to use it,” he said.
Brown said the city works with the Wilson Theatre and a committee to provide a venue for the gatherings.
“We couldn’t do any of it without these groups doing more than their fair share,” Brown said.
Harvest Haunt Committee Chairperson Lori Wilson said events will kick off at 10 a.m. Monday, when community members can begin taking their painted or decorated pumpkins to the Square to create scenes through Oct. 31.
Also on Monday, pumpkin painting classes will be held at 5 and 7 p.m. at the Wilson for $15, which includes all the supplies and the pumpkin. Esther Garner will be the instructor. Children ages 12 and under must be with an adult.
“After they are finished painting their pumpkins, they can walk them right over to the Square if they’d like,” Wilson said.
People placing pumpkins at the park are encouraged to snap a photo and post the photos on social media with #harvesthaunt2020, so the committee can judge them.
On Oct. 23 and 24, people ages 16 and up can take a walking Ghost Tours of businesses on the Square. The tour includes stairs. Cost is $20.
On Oct. 24, Animal expert and Idaho native Corbin Maxey will show off his reptiles and spiders at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the theater. Tickets are $7-$10, depending on age.
On Oct. 30 and 31, laser tag will be offered at the park. Cost of tickets online is $10 for a fast pass and $12 at the gate. Groups of 24 people can play at one time, theater administrator Kris Faux said.
Tickets for all paid events can be purchased online at the Wilson Theatre site.
The Harvest Haunt will include some free activities like a family night Chalk the Walk event on Oct. 26 and Trunk or Treat from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 31. There will be food vendor trucks on the Square during Trunk or Treat, a disc jockey playing Halloween music and a costume contest.
Faux said people are encouraged to create their favorite 2020 themed costume and businesses and clubs can participate in the Chalk the Walk event. Bring your own chalk or chalk will be provided at the gazebo.
“The idea is to increase tourism and bring traffic back to Rupert and help people remember what a great little town Rupert is,” Wilson said. “We wanted to make it bigger and better this year and we encourage people to add it to their fall traditions.”
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