Even before Halloween on Sunday, the free activities will already be happening in Hamilton. Friday, October 29, the annual Halloween Kids parade on Hamilton's Main Street will start at 4:30 p.m. Parents and their little ghouls and goblins line up at the corner of 4th and Main (by the post office) for a short one-block parade on Main from 4th Street to 3rd Street, and then the kids go to the businesses downtown that are providing treats. The Hamilton Downtown Association organizes the activity and will have two blocks of Main Street barricaded so the kids can scramble easily up and down the street. Things will wrap up by 7 p.m.

The Bitterroot Public Library has been conducting a free combo scavenger-trivia contest with 13 businesses in Hamilton. The "Nightmare on Main Street" is contained in a free pamphlet, available at the library on State Street. There are 13 little contests contained in the pages - from trivia to missing words. the clues are on the windows of the participating stores.

On Halloween Sunday, after a year's absence due to COVID, the Hamilton Masonic Temple's Haunted House will be back. It's a free tour that winds mysteriously through both floors of the building on the 100 block of South Third Street in Hamilton (right next to the Hamilton Fire Hall). Don Matlock said the planners have set up a less scary area for the younger kids with Halloween activities, but the older kids and adults will enjoy the main haunted house - with scenes and scares that are being created this week.

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The Masonic haunted house in 2019 was a critical success for those who "survived." We didn't hear from those who did not return from the depths of the building (insert evil laugh here). Unfortunately, since it has two floors of haunting and stairways, handicapped access is not provided. The creation will only be open Sunday afternoon (during the daylight) on Halloween.

The Daly Mansion will NOT be doing their haunted hayrides this year. However, during the daylight Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., the Daly Mansion will have "Trunk or Treat" on the front lawn of the property northeast of Hamilton. Courtney told us that those who'd like to be part of the Pop-up Car Neighborhood should get their candy gathered up, bring their car or truck over to the mansion Sunday afternoon and you'll be directed where to park. Open your auto's trunk and the kids can stroll from vehicle to vehicle, looking in the trunks for treats. Some of participants even like to decorate their trunks in the Halloween style. By the way, it's free admission to the Mansion grounds on Halloween, as it is during the daylight most days. Lots of people have been out there, taking photos of the great fall colors of the Daly Mansion trees (photo below).

Fall colors from the Daly Mansion porch. (Steve Fullerton, Townsquare Media)

And, of course, the main Halloween scarefest in the Bitterroot Valley is the Field of Screams, north of Hamilton on US 93. You pay your admission and enter the haunted maze. There are also wagon rides and less scary things this year, too.

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