The David family, of Steamboat Springs, from right, Danny, Max, Robin and Preston, participate in the 2008 Downtown Halloween Stroll. The event is one of several family-friendly activities for the holiday.

File photo

The David family, of Steamboat Springs, from right, Danny, Max, Robin and Preston, participate in the 2008 Downtown Halloween Stroll. The event is one of several family-friendly activities for the holiday.

Halloween events start in Steamboat today

Family-friendly holiday happenings continue through Saturday

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Family-friendly Halloween events

- CMC Enchanted Castle: The CMC Residence Hall Association presents trick-or-treating and games for children elementary age and younger from 6 to 8 p.m. today in Hill Hall. Admission is free. The RHA will collect cans of food at the door. Call 871-2013.

- "Ghost Stories from Historic Colorado": Tread of Pioneers Museum presents ghost stories from Steamboat and beyond at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. today at the museum, 800 Oak St. Event is free and includes haunted museum tour, riddles for children and refreshments. Space limited. RSVP to 879-2214.

- Scary stories with Spellbinders: The Bud Werner Memorial Library invites adults and children older than 8 to listen to bone-chilling tales in the dark of Library Hall at 6 p.m. Friday. The free program features members of Spellbinders, a volunteer storytelling organization. Call 879-0240 or go to www.steamboatlibr...>

- Screamboat Chamber of Horror: The CMC Sky Club presents its 11th annual haunted house from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Monson Hall. A parent or adult supervisor is recommended for children younger than 12. Admission is $5. Call 870-4537.

- Kids' carving event: Take a pumpkin to a free carving event from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Steamboat Arts & Crafts Gym. Call 870-0384.

- "The Haunted Library" reading: Local author and Steamboat Pilot & Today city editor Blythe Terrell will read from her children's book, "The Haunted Library," at 2 p.m. Saturday at Epilogue Book Co. The event is free and suitable for children fourth grade and older. Spooky treats provided. Call 879-2665.

- Festival O' Pumpkins: The Steamboat Springs Arts Council hosts its second annual pumpkin decorating and carving contest. Take a decorated or carved pumpkin to the Routt County Courthouse lawn from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Community voting is from 5:30 to 7 p.m., and contestants can pick up their pumpkins until 8 p.m. Contest entry is free, and there will be prizes awarded in children's and adult categories for scariest, funniest, most artistic and best in the 'Boat. Call 879-9008.

- Trick-or-treat in North Routt: The Clark Store has a sign-up sheet for North Routt residents to sign up as trick-or-treat locations on Halloween night. Any family wanting to trick-or-treat in the area can stop by the store at 54174 Routt County Road 129 to check the list. Call 879-3849.

- Downtown Halloween Stroll: Mainstreet Steamboat Springs presents its annual trick-or-treating event and Halloween festival from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday on Lincoln Avenue between Fifth and 11th streets. Admission is free. Call 846-1800. The Steamboat Springs Venture Crew will serve $5 dinners at the stroll with proceeds benefiting Venturing's High Adventure and Leadership Program.

- Haven Halloween party: The Haven Assisted Living Center throws a community Halloween party including games, costumes and treats from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Call 276-4484. The Haven is at 300 S. Shelton Lane in Hayden.

- Boys & Girls Club "Monster Mash": Events include a dance party, costume contest, games and complimentary popcorn and beverages. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Free. The Boys & Girls Club of Steamboat Springs is in the gym at Eighth and Aspen streets. Call 303-532-9274.

For a full listing of Halloween events in Routt County, including costume parties and live music at bars and restaurants, see www.exploresteamboat.com or look in the Explore Steamboat weekend guide section of Friday's Steamboat Today.

A chilly weather forecast and downtown road construction are no match for Steamboat's love of costumes and candy.

After almost 30 years of tradition, the Downtown Halloween Stroll invites children of all ages to trick-or-treat at Lincoln Avenue businesses from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday.

Most Lincoln Avenue businesses will hand out candy or other treats to a crowd that typically numbers in the thousands, Mainstreet Steamboat Springs Manager Tracy Barnett said.

"It's about as community as you can get; everybody comes out," Barnett said. In addition to the trick-or-treating, several organizations will have booths and displays set up. Local law enforcement will be represented, community groups will hand out hot chocolate and cider, and the Steamboat Christian Center will bring its campaign to collect 2,000 pounds of food for the LIFT-UP Food Bank.

Main Street businesses sponsor the free event, with some keeping their doors open after hours and all providing the candy they hand out, Barnett said.

"It's a really big expense for each of them. They do between $400 and $500 worth of candy each. : It's a lot of candy and a lot kids," she said.

Lincoln Avenue will be closed between Fifth and 11th streets from about 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday for the event. Representatives from Scott Contracting and the city of Steamboat Springs will be on hand near Seventh Street to discuss a box culvert being installed in the street and to keep pedestrians safe near the project, which includes a large hole in the road.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the National Weather Service's forecast for Saturday in Steamboat Springs was for partly sunny conditions during the day with a high temperature near 44 degrees Fahrenheit, and mostly cloudy conditions at night with a low near 24 degrees Fahrenheit.

Enchanted Castle is today

Now in its 10th year, the "Enchanted Castle" at Colorado Mountain College's Hill Hall offers a chance for younger children to go trick-or-treating and play Halloween games indoors.

Presented by the CMC Residence Hall Association, the event from 6 to 8 p.m. today is recommended for children elementary age or younger, said Shawndra Winter, assistant coordinator for student life at CMC.

About 35 RHA members and additional student volunteers coordinate the event, which includes games, a cupcake walk, crafts and a "carnival atmosphere" in Hill Hall's main lobby, Winter said.

Student residents sign up to participate in trick-or-treating and to put up spooky decorations for a toned-down haunted house for school-age children on the dorm's third floor. Dorm rooms included in trick-or-treating are marked with a candy-corn-themed poster and inspected by RHA, Winter said.

The event is free, and participating families are asked to bring a nonperishable food item as admission. RHA members will contribute some food items to Thanksgiving care baskets distributed to area families through LIFT-UP. Remaining food will go to Routt County United Way's Community Thanksgiving Dinner, an event that feeds many CMC students who can't get home for the holiday, Winter said.

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