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“Truth Be Told” and “Monster Bash” — 2 free Halloween events at the Colfax Municipal Building

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — Two free Halloween events are scheduled at the Colfax Municipal Building on October 22 and October 28.

The “Spooky Storytelling Edition of Truth Be Told” — real stories by real people — will be held at 7 p.m. in the Colfax Municipal Building Auditorium on Sunday, October 22.

“Truth Be Told” will be hosted by Steve Russell and Kobi Shaw and will feature “chilling tales told by Colfax friends and neighbors.”

The lineup includes Colfax residents LeAnn Ralph, Randy Simpson, Jim Zons and Rick Olson.

If members of the audience would like to participate, they are welcome to tell their own true life spooky stories as well.

Troy Knutson, president of the Colfax Municipal Building Restoration Group, has launched an initiative to hold more events in the municipal building.

“The CMBRG is hoping the community will come and support both or either of the events being held at the building in October,” Knutson said.

The October 28 event will be a Halloween party for children with free movies in the afternoon and another free movie in the evening for older youngsters and adults — along with concessions and costume contests.

“We are hoping people will enjoy that out-of-the-ordinary type of event with ‘Truth Be Told’ and the good old-fashioned fun of a Halloween party,” Knutson said.

“We are also hoping that since both events are free, a lot of people will come and check them out,” he said.

“Making money is great, but it is also very important to make people feel connected to the building and make those memories,” Knutson said.

Positive memories focused on the municipal building will help make sure the building survives and thrives for another one hundred years, he said.

“We need those memories made so the upcoming generations feel the need to use and love the building as we do. It is a great building, and the CMBRG has done a great job of bringing it back to life. We hope that it can be used and enjoyed for many years to come,” Knutson said.

“We also would like people who may not have seen the inside of the building in a few years to please stop down and see what a wonderful place it is. Sure, there’s work to be done yet, but we will get there,” he added.

Over the past 10 years or so, the Colfax Municipal Building Restoration Group has spent well over $100,000 on new electrical wiring for the building as well as remodeling and updating the auditorium with fresh paint, new window coverings and refinishing the floor.

The Village of Colfax also received a $180,000 Energy Efficiency Community Development Block Grant used to upgrade the heating and cooling system and to install energy efficient windows.

Lisa Bragg-Hurlburt, director of the Colfax Public Library, says she is looking forward to “Truth Be Told.”

“I love the concept of a story-telling event, because what better way to understand ourselves and find meaning in the world than through the artful use of words?” Bragg-Hurlburt said.

“That’s very much in keeping with the spirit of a library. Not to mention, it’s just fun to be spooked every once in a while,” she said.

“We are lucky here in Colfax to have this gorgeous old stone building in the middle of the downtown. I think it’s an excellent idea to let our children make memories in it …  the ‘spirits’ of the people who built this building are in the walls, and they would no doubt love having a connection to future generations through the shared history of this gathering place,” Bragg-Hurlburt said.

The Colfax Municipal Building was constructed in 1915. As an energy saving measure, the auditorium was boarded up and closed to the public in the 1970s and remained closed for about 40 years.

Monster Bash

The second free event at the Colfax Municipal Building is the Halloween Monster Bash on Saturday, October 28.

The Monster Bash begins at 12:30 p.m. with a Halloween Party for Kids that will include treats, crafts, and games. Jolene Albricht, youth services librarian, will read stories.

The Colfax library will be open that day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“We’re keeping it simple. We have games planned, with young adult and teen volunteers assisting at each game. We’ll have craft activities for children, including letting kids decorate their own little pumpkin. Jolene has picked out some fun stories to read to little kids. We also will have snacks and drinks,” Bragg-Hurlburt said.

After the party in the library, a costume contest will be held in the historic auditorium upstairs from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Contestants will walk across the stage, and the audience will vote for their favorites.

From 2:30 to 4 p.m., two short Halloween movies for kids will be shown: “Scared Shrekless,” and “Toy Story: Night of Terror.”

Votes for the costume contest will be tallied during the first movie, and in between the movies, prizes will be awarded.

The Halloween Party for Kids and the matinee movies are free.

“Holidays are a fun way to bring people together and promote a feeling of inspiration and play,” Bragg-Hurlburt said.

“It’s nice to have little traditions that invite families out into the community so we can talk and laugh with each other,” she said.

“Wearing costumes lets us role play and set aside our everyday selves for a while. Decorating our homes and businesses can be a way of reaching out, telling stories and sharing with each other. Seasonal treats and passing out candy lets kids know we value them and welcome their presence in the community,” Bragg-Hurlburt said.

Hocus Pocus

The Halloween Monster Bash does not end in the afternoon, however.

In the evening on October 28, the Halloween classic movie “Hocus Pocus” will be shown in the municipal building auditorium.

A costume contest will be held at 7 p.m. Prior to the start of the movie, contestants will walk across the stage, and the audience will vote for their favorites. Votes will be tallied during the movie, and prizes will be awarded after the movie.

Admission to “Hocus Pocus” is free.

The Halloween Monster Bash is being sponsored by the Colfax Public Library, the Colfax Municipal Building Restoration Group and the Colfax Commercial Club.

Woods Run Forest Products also awarded the company’s Community Grant for the Halloween Monster Bash.

Because of the collaboration of the three groups, and with the help of Woods Run, “this event is bigger and better advertised than we could have ever managed on our own,” Bragg-Hurlburt said.

“It just makes sense that we all work together for community events. A group effort brings all kinds of energy, ideas and talent to the table,” she said.

Movies

For the past several years during the fall and winter, the Colfax Commercial Club has attempted to show movies in the auditorium.

People who grew up in Colfax who are of “a certain age” have fond memories of going to movies in the municipal building, and the Colfax Commercial Club wanted to once again offer movies for the community in what was at one time known as the Cozy Theatre.

To help make those movies a reality, the Colfax Commercial Club invested in a big screen and sound equipment for the auditorium.

Unfortunately, having to purchase a license to show copyrighted movies proved to be very expensive.

“After last winter’s low attendance at the Commercial Club’s movies and having to pay upwards of $500 per movie for the license fee, we voted to discontinue showing movies,” said Mark Johnson, president of the Colfax Commercial Club.

“I’m not sure how the conversation started, but we learned that the library has a license to show movies, although under the library’s license, they cannot charge admission. The Commercial Club, on the other hand, had to charge admission to cover the cost of the license fee,” he said.

“Through brainstorming, the idea came up to partner with the library and CMBRG to show a Halloween movie,” Johnson said.

“The Commercial Club is a small group, and as with many civic groups in our area, it is getting harder to gather volunteers to help with anything. Joining forces with two or three groups, an event like what we have planned for the 28th should be successful and may lead to other events co-hosted by other groups,” he said.

Sponsors

In addition to the Colfax Public Library, the Colfax Municipal Building Restoration Group, the Colfax Commercial Club and Woods Run Forest Products, the Halloween Monster Bash on October 28 is being sponsored by the Colfax Messenger, the Colfax Police Department, the Colfax Rescue Squad, Dr. L.R. Phillips, A Little Slice of Italy, Express Mart, Kyle’s Market and Synergy Cooperative (formerly Cedar Country Cooperative).

Johnson says he hopes people in the community will attend the Halloween Party for Kids, take part in the costume contests and attend “Scared Shrekless, “Toy Story: Night of Terror,” and “Hocus Pocus” to show the sponsors their efforts are appreciated.