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‘Halloween on Franklin Street’ Rolls Forward Despite Pandemic

Vancouver resident Jim Mains has been decorating his house for major holidays since 2012. This year’s “Halloween on Franklin St.” display featured several 12-foot skeletons. (Nicki Parker/ The Indy)

What do Scooby-Doo, Queen Elsa and Chucky all have in common? They were all celebrating at Jim Mains’ “Halloween on Franklin Street” event this weekend. 

Vancouver resident Jim Mains’ holiday displays have become a staple of the community. Every year since 2012, thousands visit his home on Franklin St. to share in the holiday joy, especially on Halloween. 

This year, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic left many families wondering how to safely celebrate the holiday. So Mains adjusted his usual display, complete with 12foot skeletons and live actors, to accommodate the current challenges. 

On the night of Friday, Oct. 30, Mains held his first drive-thru trickortreating event. Cars lined both sides of the street outside Mains house, marveling at the decorations. 

Jim Mains passes candy to a group of trick-or-treaters while dressed as Jack Skellington on Friday, Oct. 30. (Nicki Parker/ The Indy)

When they reached the candy checkpoint, Mains used a shovel to pass out candy in order to minimize contact. 

“How many kids you got in there?” Mains asked each car as they pulled up.

Over and over, the windows rolled down to reveal costumed families and Mains would shovel candy into their waiting hands.

Mains held a socially-distanced walk-up event on Halloween night for those looking for a more traditional trick-or-treating experience. Mains built a 20foot candy shoot out of PVC pipe and a ladder, with a prop witch at the top to safely dispense candy. Yellow markers on the ground reminded trick-or-treaters to stay 6-feet apart.

19-year-old Clark College students Lucy and Grace Sherman were some of the live actors volunteering at the event. The twin sisters reprised their roles as the twins from The Shining for the fifth year in a row. 

“I feel like especially during this time of COVID, people need a cheer up and something fun to do,” Grace Sherman said.

“And I like getting into costume and scaring kids -thats always fun,” Lucy Sherman added as they both laughed.

Lucy and Grace Sherman are both in their first year at Clark. Grace Sherman is a part of ASCC and is planning on pursuing a career in education. Lucy Sherman hopes to pursue a career in criminal justice.

“I watch a lot of shows like Criminal Minds or (CSI-) SVU” Lucy Sherman said. “I want to help people and figure out why they do what they do, like a detective.” 

Twin sisters Grace and Lucy Sherman have been volunteering at the event for five years now. (Nicki Parker/ The Indy)

Kids were not the only ones receiving treats on Friday night. Laura Bobst, manager of a local 7/11 convenience store, passed out coupons to the parents. Bobst was dressed as Winifred Sanderson from the film Hocus Pocus, or as one very small Batman said, “Ho-pocus.”

Vancouver resident Laura Bobst said she enjoyed seeing folks safely celebrating the holiday despite the ongoing pandemic. (Nicki Parker/ The Indy)
Former Clark students Ilana Brown and Chris Cour greeted folks as they drove by. (Nicki Parker/ The Indy)

Former Clark Student Ilana Brown, dressed as Sleeping Beauty, greeted folks as they drove by. Brown was a member of ASCC during her time at Clark and fondly remembered many of her professors. Brown said she enjoyed seeing how folks incorporated their facemasks into their Halloween costumes this year.

“I love your movies,” exclaimed a little girl dressed as Cinderella.

Brown smiled and blew some kisses before the car pulled away.

“It’s little moments like that. That’s why I love volunteering every year,” Brown said.


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