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Take a swap meet -- add ghosts, ghoulls, and guillotines -- and you then have a 'swamp meet', for Hallowe'en

DAVID F. ASHTON - Swamp Meet coordinator Missi Hamilton spent a moment with a couple of her buddies, Taffy the Klown and Bezoar, who revealed that theyd crawled out of their haunt to enjoy the meet at Oaks Park. The spooky village of vendors that moved into Oaks Park's large outdoor pavilion on Saturday, September 4, was unlike most of the "swap meets" you may stop by. This one turned out to be the second annual "Swamp Meet", put on by the NW Haunters Association.

"We started the 'Swamp Meet' because crafters were looking for a place to show and sell their cool Hallowe'en stuff, before the season actually begins," explained organizer Missi Hamilton. "Our first year was 2019; the COVID-19 pandemic shut us down last year, but we're back strong in 2021!

DAVID F. ASHTON - Liven up a haunt with this mirror guillotine, created by the Coffin Collector, Tom LaBonty. "We consider ourselves the event that opens the Hallowe'en season, here in the greater Portland metropolitan area. Among our 37 vendors, we have artists and makers of 'dark arts', jewelry, masks, voodoo bags, Hallowe'en decorating, and oh, yes – a live fortuneteller!" (There weren't any dead ones available…)

After the spooky swap meet was over, Hamilton reported back to THE BEE about it: "According to our shoppers and guests, our 'Swamp Fest' was a huge success! All the feedback from vendors so far has been positive, and they all want to be invited back next year."

While there wasn't someone designated to count the number of folks who came by, Hamilton estimated that several hundred Hallowe'en fans came through the gates.

DAVID F. ASHTON - The Swamp Meet organizers commissioned Scott Tangen and Karen Olson of Pumpkin Acres to create this spooky Halloween-themed selfie spot. "It was great fun to see Hallowe'en enthusiasts out and about, getting ready for our favorite holiday!" she enthused. "And, we're so thankful for the staff at Oaks Park who has been fabulous to work with; they've been supportive of our 'Swamp Meet' from the start."

Are you brave enough to learn more about the "NW Haunters Association"? If so, go online – nwhaunters.wixsite.com/nwha

Meantime, here's a brief BEE video to show you why this wasn't any ordinary "swap meet"! – youtu.be/yeAl07LFnlI


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