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Prineville organizations and businesses offer plenty of ways for families to celebrate Halloween from Friday until Halloween night

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - The Crook County Harvest Party draws hundreds of kids to the fairgrounds every Halloween evening.

When Halloween lands smack dab in the middle of the week, it spells several days of trick-or-treat and costume-inspired events in Prineville.

Whether you are a youngster or a senior citizen, events abound that will provide locals a chance to have some fun, dress up, and enjoy some food, drinks and treats.

Leading off the events on Friday evening, from 6 to 9 p.m., is a Cops and Robbers Halloween Skate Party, hosted at the Pioneer Gymnasium by Crook County Parks and Recreation District. Admission is $5 per individual or $15 per family, but once inside, visitors will be provided free drinks and cookies.

"They can dress up as either a cop or a robber and then at the end of the night, around 8:30, there is a costume contest," said CCPRD Office Assistant Hannah Hamlin.

Judges will pick the best cops and robbers-themed costume as well as a best general costume. Hamlin added that patrons must either wear half-masks or take full masks off while skating. Also, no toy guns are allowed unless people check in with the skating rink staff ahead of time.

Saturday afternoon, the Halloween Hustle and Costume Pageant will take place. Starting at 12:30 and lasting until 3:30, the 5K run/walk/cruise event will kick off at the corner of Northeast Fifth and Main streets. Entry fees for the race ($20 for pre-registration and $30 the day of the event) will benefit community projects and high school scholarships.

Sponsored by Ray's Food Place, Ochoco Dental and Oregonians Credit Union and hosted by Rotary Club of Crook County, the event will feature a tri-tip barbecue lunch. All participants are invited to wear a costume, and they will be entered into a raffle for prizes, and the first 100 registrants will receive swag bags. Costume prizes will be given out for team themes, bicycle cruisers, adults, youth and even pets.

Intending to add a community event to its annual list of fundraisers, Rotarians decided to focus on both an active event and something that families could enjoy during the daytime. And while the more competitive runners can check their finish time after the 5K, the Halloween Hustle is meant to be more of a community event than a race. According to Rotarian Stacey Forson, the event is patterned after the annual Paddy Pint Run, a costume-oriented fun run held each St. Patrick's Day in Prineville.

"The emphasis is going to be more on participation," she said. "It is intended to be a fun event."

Pre-registration is online on the Rotary Club's Facebook page.

Another new attraction will be provided in Prineville starting Sunday and lasting through Halloween on Wednesday. Pine Theater is hosting a family-friendly haunted house on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. and Monday through Wednesday from 3 to 5 p.m. Cost is $5. Later each evening, the theater will offer an X-Streme Scare version of the haunted house. The attraction, which will cost $7 to attend, will take place from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday and 6 to 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.

The Crook County High School Thespian Troupe will host a "Monsters University" Halloween Party from 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday at CCHS.

The event is open to all ages, and guests are encouraged to come dressed in their best costumes and earn a "Monsters University" diploma. By visiting all of the tables and participating in activities, guests will learn how to be a qualified monster. Tickets for tables will be $1 for five tickets, and each table will be one or two tickets each. Proceeds will go toward drama shows, equipment and travel expenses.

Three single-day events will be held locally on Halloween, starting with a costume contest during lunch Wednesday at the Prineville Senior Center.

"We have a costume contest every year," said Senior Center Director Melody Kendall. "The seniors dress up and we give away prizes. They stand up front and everybody votes. It's fun."

The Candy Crawl, hosted by Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce, begins at 1 p.m., where kids are invited to trick-or-treat a variety of local businesses while visiting parents or guardians collect passport stamps.

"We have more than 60 businesses that are participating in the Candy Crawl," said Chamber Director Kim Daniels.

Passports can be picked up at the chamber office or at one of Prineville's grocery stores until this Friday and completed passports can be turned back in by Nov. 9.

"With every completed passport that is returned to us, we do a drawing for prizes that all of the businesses have donated," Daniels said.

She went on to note that prizes include a host of gift cards, gift baskets and more.

"There is a little bit of everything," she said.

Halloween evening, from 5:30 to 7:30, youngsters can once again head over to the Crook County Fairgrounds Indoor Arena to enjoy the Crook County Harvest Party. Hosted by High Desert Christian Academy, families can check out multiple booths and attractions while winning candy and door prizes. Admission to the event is a canned food or nonperishable food item that will be donated to Redemption House Ministries.

"It is a fun event for the whole family," said school administrator Maggie Hale.

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