A Shelter Full of Hope and Promise

Halloween going to the dogs

If you’re like most people who get email forwards from friends this time of year, you know from the photos in those emails that some of the most creative and hilarious Halloween costumes are made for dogs.

You just can’t go wrong with a pooch dressed up like Darth Vader, Superman or the Headless Horseman.

Even if you’re not a dog owner, it’s worth your time to head to Creekside on Saturday (Oct. 30) to see what Whistler dog owners come up with for costumes for Fido and Fifi.

The Creekside Halloween Bash is taking over the entire Franz’s Trail area from 1 to 5 p.m., and the event is shaping up to be a great, ghoulish party for the whole family – including the dogs.

The event is being organized by Creekside Market and Whistler Animals Galore (WAG), the resort’s animal shelter. Paula Del Bosco, WAG’s executive director, said the community festivities will include an impressive haunted house, trick-or-treating at all the Franz’s Trail merchants, a costume contest and much more.

“It’s going to be a really fun family day,” she said. “We want everybody there.”

Whistler’s four-legged friends will have the chance to compete in “bobbing for wieners,” Del Bosco said, and there will be an agility course for owners of all ages to try with their pets. The best costume prize, a set of Canucks tickets, will go to the best-dressed family – including parents, kids and dogs, she said.

“There’s nothing better than dogs and kids dressed up,” Del Bosco said. “How can you not smile?”

Bring your carved pumpkins, too, for a chance to win the best pumpkin contest.

The Creekside Halloween Bash is a fundraiser for WAG’s emergency treatment fund for animals that get injured or sick and need emergency veterinary care. Entry to the fun is by donation to WAG, and there will be a barbecue with proceeds going to WAG, Del Bosco said.

With a much higher incidence of animals needing emergency care this year, and a range of expensive procedures and treatments required, WAG’s fund has been depleted.

“We are completely on zero,” Del Bosco said.

If Saturday’s event is a success, the hope is to turn it into an annual Halloween celebration, she added.

With All Hallow’s Eve set for Sunday (Oct. 31) this year, the Creekside Halloween Bash isn’t the only event that’s giving people a chance to get the party started early.

Many of the local nightclubs have Halloween-themed parties set for both Saturday and Sunday nights. The Maxx Fish Massacre runs both nights and a $500 best costume prize will be awarded twice.

The Whistler Club Crawl is organizing a Halloween Club Crawl on Saturday night, featuring four venues, dinner, drinks and no lines for $50.

In Pemberton, youth ages 13 to 18 years are invited to a Much Music Halloween Video Dance starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Community Centre. Tickets are $10 if you wear a costume; $12 without.

On the big night itself, the place to be in Whistler is the Tapley’s Farm area. Local kids have been coming to Tapley’s to trick-or-treat for more than 20 years, and the residents of the area don’t disappoint with elaborately decorated houses and Halloween surprises. There’s even a fireworks display at Myrtle Philip Community School to cap off the festivities.

Julie Hamilton, one of the Tapley’s Halloween organizers, said all kids are encouraged to bring a can of food or other non-perishable food item to drop off when they arrive for trick-or-treating. Shaw is setting up a booth at the entrance to Tapley’s at Lorimer Road and Balsam Way to collect food for the Whistler and Pemberton food banks.

Part of Shaw’s Together is Amazing program, each item of food will be tripled with Shaw and Campbell’s Soup pledging to match donations.

Halloween festivities at Tapley’s start at dusk and run until the fireworks go off at 7:30 p.m., Hamilton said. The area is closed to vehicle traffic – take the free Park and Spook bus from Marketplace.

Candy donations for Tapley’s are being collected at the local schools and Nesters Market.

Other Halloween-related news to note: The B-Grade Horror Film Festival is sold out and the GLC’s infamous Halloween party is not taking place this year as the venue is temporarily closed.

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