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Trevor Kuiper, of Parkston, ties his tie to finish the gangster costume he rented Oct. 12 from Einstein’s Costume and Prop Rental in Mitchell. Kuiper, a dentist in Freeman and Parkston, came to Einstein’s to rent a costume for a Halloween party in Sioux Falls. (Sean Ryan/Republic)

Where to find some Halloween fun

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Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

Haunted houses, monster costumes and a zombie apocalypse are all part of Halloween season in Mitchell, but perhaps the most terrifying thing of all would be to miss them.

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Several organizations and businesses are banding together to provide a jack-o’- lantern full of Halloween activities, from the giggle-inducing to the grim and gruesome. The fun starts today and lasts until Halloween on Oct. 31.

Haunted Village Halloween event

The Dakota Discovery Museum in Mitchell will host the annual Haunted Village for children from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday. It will be in the Historic Village on the grounds of the museum, located on the Dakota Wesleyan University campus, 1300 McGovern Ave.

It is for families and children 10 and younger and will feature treat-bag printing, pumpkin painting, refreshments and a Coborn’s Apple Tree. According to a news release from the museum, children can also receive treats from a ghoulish cast of characters, and Steampunk members of the Northern Plains Confederation will be on hand “to create a unique Halloween atmosphere.”

The event is sponsored by Hanselman’s Pumpkin Patch. Donations are welcome and go to benefit the programs of the museum. For more information, call (605) 996-2122 or visit dakotadiscovery.com.

Halloween Haunted House

DWU theater students and the Children’s Miracle Network partnered for the second time to create a haunted house in the upstairs of Ben Franklin on the corner of Third Avenue and Main Street in downtown Mitchell.

The Halloween Haunted House will be open from 7 to 10 p.m. today through Saturday and Oct. 31-Nov. 2, with kids’ hour from 6 to 7 p.m. According to a news release, kids’ hour will be less scary. The entrance fee is $5 per person and all proceeds will be divided between the DWU theater department and DWU chapter of the Children’s Miracle Network.

CMN, the largest student-run philanthropy group in the nation, began on campus last year.

Downtown Trick-or-Treat

Mitchell Main Street and Beyond is hosting its downtown trick-or-treat event again, from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Oct. 31. Look for the orange pumpkin in the window to identify participating businesses, and stop by for a treat.

MMS&B Executive Director Molly Goldsmith said some of the participating businesses will offer special things, depending on weather.

“Not all the treats are specifically candy, although a lot of them are,” she said.

A full list of participating businesses is available at mitchellmainstreet.com.

Trunk or Treat

The 13th annual Trunk or Treat will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Mitchell Middle School parking lot, and Karen Allen, one of the event’s organizers, said she hopes to see about 50 trunks decorated and dishing out treats.

Allen, the prevention specialist for the Mitchell School District, said the popular event — nearly 1,000 children attended last year’s — invites area businesses and organizations to bring a vehicle to the middle school parking lot, pop their trunks and hand out candy. Any type of vehicle, from a moped to a fire truck, can participate.

“One year we had a unicycle,” Allen said.

The event is free and is for children up to second grade. This year’s event is hosted by two youth organizations, Unfiltered Reality and the Mitchell High School Peer Helpers. It is also sponsored by Wells Fargo, the Mitchell Elks Lodge and the Mitchell Middle School staff.

Youth dances

Allen said Unfiltered Reality is also sponsoring this year’s Haunted Dance Friday night at the Masonic Temple. She said the middle school dance is from 7 to 9 p.m., and the high school dance is from 9:30 p.m. to midnight. Both cost $5 to attend.

In conjunction with Red Ribbon Week, which culminates on Halloween, Allen said the middle school has planned dress-up days, door decorating contests and other activities. Red Ribbon Week is a youth drug prevention campaign, held in honor of DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was killed by drug traffickers in Mexico. Allen said some of the school’s activities will also coordinate with Bullying Prevention Month, which is during October.

Palace Mall Crawl

The second annual Palace Mall Crawl is scheduled from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Palace Mall, 1801 N. Main St. in Mitchell. Rick Johnson, store leader at JCPenney, said children can come to any of the participating businesses to trick or treat during that time; he also said JCPenney will serve trick-or-treaters during most of its business day.

“It’s inside, safe and warm and climate controlled,” he said of the event.

Johnson said most of the mall’s shops and businesses will participate in the event, and there will be additional booths set up. Last year, Johnson said about 600 children participated; this year, he’s expecting around 1,000.

“It’s just something to give back to the community and have some fun with the customers and clientele,” he said.

In addition to the trick-or-treating, there will be a haunted house in the former Sears building in the mall. Brenda Toribio, a stylist at Vicki’s His ‘n’ Her Hairstyling, said popcorn will be served at the haunted house, also open from 3 to 5 p.m.

All participation is free.

Reader’s theater, ‘Zombie Chronicles’

There will be a reader’s theater and community play Friday, Saturday and on Halloween at the Pepsi-Cola Theatre in Mitchell. The reader’s theater, in which someone reads directly from the written work, similar to oral interpretation, will include several works by famed macabre author Edgar Allan Poe, including “The Tell-Tale Heart.”

Following that, there will be a brief intermission — then the zombies come.

Four friends struggle to survive a zombie apocalypse in “Zombie Chronicles,” a play written and directed by Aaron Krumholz, of Mitchell. Krumholz said he originally wrote it as a movie, then adapted the story to the stage.

He said the play has very graphic language as well as some blood and gore.

“It is a Halloween show,” he said. “It’s not for the kids.”

The night will start at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Oct. 31 at the Pepsi-Cola Theatre. Krumholz estimates the entire evening will last a little more than two hours. Tickets are $5 and are available at (605) 996-9137 or mitchellact.org.

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