The holidays are filled with fun and tradition wherever you go, but very few communities have such a wide array of things you can participate in for free. The city, local businesses and community members all pitch in to make sure that there are plenty of holiday memories made right here at home.
Everyone knows that Halloween in Morgan City means “Trick-or-Treat Street.” This event is just as much fun to watch as it is to be a part of. When you turn onto State Street or Commercial, it is like stepping back in time to a street full of children dressed up as their favorite haunt. The kids are all smiles as they go from business to business getting everything from a simple piece of candy, to ice cream cones and hot dogs. The generosity of the businesses involved and the sense of community at this event is unsurpassed.
However, it doesn’t stop there. Several community members join in the fun offering inexpensive spook alley options. Chad and Sheri Staples and their family host the annual Staples Halloween Maze. There is no charge for the maze and it just keeps getting bigger and better every year.
Sheri mentioned, “Chad has always liked mazes. When he was a kid he used to draw them. I remember when we were dating he had this idea to make a dance club in the middle of a big maze. He even had it all sketched out.” Chad created movable panels so that each year he can design the maze however he wants without having to buy more materials.
The whole family participates in this event. Chad and his sons design and build the maze and Sheri and her daughter decorate and greet. Even grandparents pitch in for crowd control. Before dark there are no “scarers” in the maze, so this is the perfect time to bring younger children. After dark, the haunts come out, but smaller kids can still come and carry a glow stick or horn to let the “scarers” know there are little ones in the group.
The maze is located in Wasatch Shadows at 387 W. 150 N. in Morgan. It will run Oct. 30 from dusk until 10 p.m. and Oct. 31 from 5-10 p.m. Last year they had a big crowd and it is expected to be bigger this year, so be careful while driving in this area.
Others in the area do their own smaller versions. In a neighboring subdivision, Nate and Kristy McClellan do a mini spook alley for the kids on their wrap-around porch. The kids in the area loved it last year and even got to enjoy hot chocolate on the way out.
The Phillips family is also returning to the haunted house scene this year. The Phillips’ have deep roots in Halloween tradition. Their mother used to put on a haunted house for the school Halloween carnival at the middle school and always involved her children. Two years ago a family friend received injuries that required a trip to the hospital. Efforts were being made to raise money for this family as they were uninsured and self-employed. That year the spook alley was so last minute, they weren’t able to raise many funds, but it created the spark that has led them to continue this tradition.
The Nightmare Fair will be located at the fairgrounds this year. It will be open Oct. 19-20 and 26-27 from 7-11 p.m. There is a charge for this haunted house, but funds raised go to charity and if you bring a can of food to be donated to the Utah Food Bank, they take $1 off admission. There will also be discounted prices announced on their facebook page.
The Phillips will also offer glow sticks for the younger kids so that the haunts know to be fun with them instead of scary. It is not recommended for children under 7 years old, but Chase Phillips said that last year they had 5 year olds come out with smiles on, so it is really up to the parents’ discretion.
All the actors are volunteers, which Phillips says ensures that they get haunts who genuinely enjoy Halloween and want to be there.