Nyssa businesses get ready for Halloween with colorful and imaginative window and sidewalk decor, including scarecrows and a pumpkin-headed figure in need of coffee. (The Enterprise/LILIANA FRANKEL)

VALE – Despite ongoing concerns about the Covid pandemic, a busy spooky season is planned in Malheur County as organizations gear up to host trick-or-treating, contests, and even dances. 

In Nyssa, there will be a Trunk or Treat Saturday, Oct. 30, on Main Street sponsored by the Nyssa Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture. Cars are asked to line up by 4:30 p.m. and families will start filing by to collect treats at 5 p.m.

Then, on Sunday, Oct. 31, the Nyssa Police Department will be giving away candy at the police station. 

In Ontario, there will be a Day of the Dead-themed Trunk or Treat in the Ontario High School parking lot Thursday, Oct. 28, from 5 to 7 p.m.

That same day, Day of the Dead will also be celebrated at Treasure Valley Community College. 

Then, on Friday, Oct. 29, the Boys & Girls Club of Western Treasure Valley Classic Halloween Extravaganza Trunk or Treat will be from 5 to 7 p.m. at Four Rivers Cultural Center in Ontario. 

Finally, on Saturday, Oct. 30, there will be a Fright Night at Four Rivers Cultural Center, featuring kids’ films from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and grown-up films from 5:15 p.m. to 12 a.m.

There will be a costume contest, food and drinks, and goodie bags, in addition to a Covid vaccine clinic offered from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on-site at the event. 

In Adrian, there will be a Trunk or Treat Saturday, Oct. 30, at 5 p.m. at Two Rivers Community Park, organized by Adrian 2040.

In Vale, there will be three days of spooky fun. First, families will have the opportunity to trick-or-treat at businesses on A Street on Friday, Oct. 29, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Vale’s Spooky Town Bash will be taking place that day from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at 130 Court St., outside Atkinson Dental. 

On Saturday, Oct. 30, Vale will have its first Grave Rave from 8 to 11 p.m. on Court Street between Mal’s Diner and Malheur Drug. The dance, geared towards teens, costs $10 per person, $15 per couple, or $20 per family, and will include a costume contest. Tickets are available at Luzetta’s and at Mal’s Diner.

The dance is the senior project of Brock Kulm, who hopes to use the funds raised to purchase a community flag for the town. 

Finally, Vale will have its second annual Trunk or Treat Sunday, Oct. 31, at 5:30 p.m. on the lot on the corner of Washington Street and the John Day Highway. 

Angie Sillonis, public information officer for the Malheur County Health Department, said that vaccinations, masking and distancing were key to a safe and healthy Halloween. 

In a blog post, the Health Department advised county residents to hold multi-household gatherings outside when possible, and to avoid crowds when trick-or-treating. 

“If you are wearing a plastic costume mask, that is not a Covid-safe face covering,” said Sillonis. “You need to go wear an actual mask. It’s not safe to wear a costume mask over a face covering; maybe think instead of a plastic mask, decorate (your child’s) face covering somehow to go with the costume.”

In addition to Covid-era concerns, the Health Department’s blog post recaps some general Halloween advice: no eating candy with a torn or opened wrapper, and make sure kids carry a flashlight, glowstick, or reflective tape so that drivers can see them in the dark. 

Pumpkins and gourds sit on display outside a grocery store in Nyssa. The festive fruits can be seen everywhere in Malheur County as Halloween approaches. (The Enterprise/LILIANA FRANKEL)

News tip? Contact reporter Liliana Frankel at [email protected] or 267-981-5577. 

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