By Kalvin Valdillez
October came and went in the blink of an eye. But before November arrived, the Tulalip community was sure to get in some spooky time fun during the season of candy and costumes. One of the more popular holidays on the reservation, the people get into the Halloween spirit as soon as Autumn has sprung and begin to deck their lawns and office spaces with creepy decorations at the turn of the season.
Earlier in the month, local non-profit Together We’re Better held their annual Trunk or Treat gathering which was met with great success and served as the official kick-off to the Halloween season. Although there have been many Halloween department parties, school celebrations, and family get togethers, there were two events that many tribal families had circled on their calendars: the TELA Pumpkin Extravaganza and the Community Halloween Party.
Betty J. Taylor Early Learning Academy Pumpkin Extravaganza
Laughter echoed throughout the TELA hallways on the morning of October 27, as the children arrived to their school in full costume. It was a little too chilly for the academy’s usual outdoor pumpkin patch, so dozens of mini pumpkins were scattered throughout one of the staff conference rooms. Upon picking out a pumpkin to call their own, they were able to visit a decorating station to adorn their gourds with stickers to make jack o’ lanterns with wacky faces and silly smiles.
The students and their families participated in a number of activities including bouncy houses, caricature portraits, and face painting. A cute highlight of the day was when the kids bravely walked through the spooky halls of the academy and visited their teachers while trick-or-treating and participating in a variety of carnival style games!
“I think it’s important to show that we’re just not a school, we’re a community, we’re a family, and we love interacting with one another,” said Absyde Decoscos, TELA Family Engagement Coordinator. “And it’s also important to show to the children that it’s not a separation between teachers and family, we’re all together and here for them. It’s good for the kids to see us all interacting together. It turned out good. It’s really fun. They loved seeing us all dressed up and we loved seeing them dressed up.”
Tulalip Community Halloween Party
The Community Halloween Party returned for the first time since 2019 and did so in a big way. The party was jumping throughout the entire four-hour window on October 29, and hundreds of families came out to showcase their creative costumes. This was the type of event that the kids of the community will fondly look back on years from now, just off that feeling of togetherness as everyone from event planner to event go-er had a hand in making the night special, recreating those ghoul time vibes from the days of old, before the COVID pandemic.
Families had a blast at the monster mash where there were numerous games, activities, pizza, and also a costume contest and a pumpkin carving contest. DJ Monie had the eerie tunes bumping and had the crowd at her command during the popular cake walk to close out the evening. A heartwarming thing to witness at this year’s party was members of the local recovery community working hard – setting up activity stations before the start of the event, manning said stations in full costume during the entire event, and sticking around until the very end to break down tables and help clean up the teen center, but most of all interacting with the people and getting reacclimated into the community in a good, healthy way.
Said DJ Monie after the party, “We had a blast today! Thank you to everyone that came, and for the crew that helped make it happen. Also, thanks to the judges that volunteered for the costume contests. Happy Halloween everyone!”