Traditional Halloween returns to downtown – Estes Park Trail-Gazette
Thanks to the efforts of the Estes Chamber of Commerce and others, Halloween as we know and love it here in Estes Park will be back this All Saints’ Eve.
Through the excellent research work of the director of the Estes Park Museum, Derek Fortini, the Trail-Gazette has learned that the tradition of closing Elkhorn Avenue to make treats safe for children dates back to 1983.
An article in the October 26, 1984 edition of the Trail-Gazette contains an article written by Bill Clough detailing the festivities.
“Over 60 stores and services across Elkhorn Avenue remain open, and their owners and managers will don costumes to entertain any form of young goblin, ghost or ghoul that may stumble upon their store,” Clough wrote. .
Clough goes on to write how the Elkhorn festivities began a year ago, “from a suggestion by photographer Moses Swindler.”
Since then, kids and parents alike have enjoyed the stroll through the city center where the gates are much closer together than most neighborhoods in Estes.
For nearly 40 years, the downtown business district has been part of the tradition. Some even close their stores no matter what that might mean to their income, which could be a Friday or Saturday night.
“If you ask downtown businesses about Halloween revenue, the answers will vary. Some will stay open during the treats, but many of them close just for the kids to have fun, ”said Estes Chamber of Commerce director Donna Carlson. “I have heard some traders say it was a thank you to all the locals who endure the crowds throughout the summer so that our business community can thrive, which generates income that we all benefit from.”
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic nearly canceled the Halloween celebration, that is, until Carlson and his team kicked in. The Chamber, with the help of volunteers, has created a ‘Trunk-or-Treat’ not only safe in the event of a pandemic, but also in the event of a fire at Estes Park High School.
“Downtown businesses will be handing out candy,” said Carissa Streib of Simply Christmas in downtown Estes Park, who volunteered to coordinate the event on behalf of the House. “If people want to donate candy, there will be drop boxes at Safeway and Dollar General. “
This year’s mask-wearing celebration is set to haunt the night of October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in downtown Estes Park.
Estes Park Police Department is pleased to have the Event Pack in its traditional form.
“Growing up in a city where people were door-to-door, I thought and still think this is such a cool program. It’s one of the only programs that focuses on our local people, ”said Captain Corey Pass of the Estes Park Police Department.