Northwest residents breathe a sigh of relief as fall comes to town. The long awaited season arrives with changing leaves, chill in the air, and everything pumpkin. Spines tingle as Halloween creeps closer. Homes in every neighborhood display ghoulish decorations in preparation for the holiday. Lucky for us, Halloween arrived early just 30 miles north of Portland.
St. Helens, Oregon, nestled along the picturesque Columbia River, welcomes the changing season with open arms. In 1998, this quaint town was a primary set location for the Disney Original movie, Halloweentown. Paying homage to the film, community officials host city-wide activities throughout the month of October. Wide coverage from media, such as Buzzfeed and Entertainment Weekly, sparked viral interest in the town’s famous appearance. From spooky storefronts to larger than life scarecrows displayed on every corner, St. Helens captures the true spirit of Halloweentown. My M media team filmed on-location footage from the decorated streets of St. Helens.
On Saturday, October 10th, the town emerged transformed into an exact replica of the set. Festivities began with a bang as over 15,000 spectators flooded the streets to huddle around the original ceremonial Giant Pumpkin. This towering jack-o-lantern sits grinning in the center of Courthouse Plaza, beckoning onlookers from near and far.
Known for her role as Marnie in Halloweentown, actress Kimberly Brown donned witchy attire to appear as Master of Ceremonies this year. Many arrived in lavish costumes and traveled from out of state to take part in this enchanting event. Local police officers and firefighters joined the crowd dressed as zombies to pose for photos with guests. Little witches and monsters stared wide-eyed at the light display as they participated in activities throughout City Hall. The Pumpkin Lighting Ceremony kicked off at 7pm as Brown eagerly filmed the crowd (with help from her Selfie Stick) as she exclaimed, “Let’s get this party started!” With a whisk of her magic wand, the pumpkin centerpiece flickered to life.
The annual celebration not only unites the St. Helens community, but awakens the child in everyone. This hidden gem is a must-see for fans of this spooktacular season.
For those who were unable to attend the ceremony, don’t fret- the fun has only just begun! Upcoming events are scheduled throughout the month for boys and ghouls of every age. Check out our Halloweentown events calendar for more information.