Night on a Dark Trail presents chills and thrills for a good cause

October 9, 2013

By Sherry Grindeland


A quartet of cackling witches greeted visitors at last year’s event.

A quartet of cackling witches greeted visitors at last year’s event.

Mix Halloween costumes with puns and silly jokes, toss in some great dance routines and spread everything around a hiking route and you’ve got Night on a Dark Trail. Omit gore and things that jump out and scare you.

The combination is a recipe for seasonal fun and a successful fundraiser for the Mt. Si Food Bank.

Night on a Dark Trail returns to the Valley Oct. 18 and 19. It will be held 6:30-9 p.m. and features eight Halloween-themed scenes scattered along a hiking trail, pre-walk entertainment and a concession area. And, it will be more fun than ever promises organizer Mark Henning.

“Event organizer,” Hennig said. “You call this organized?”

He’s teasing, because, after all, he said, the committee behind the event includes Deanna Haverfield, Stacy Caiarelli Brown and Heidi Dukich.

Haverfield is the manager of North Bend’s Pioneer Coffee and a leader behind many of the events in the downtown area. Caiarelli Brown is the special events manager for the Snoqualmie Ridge ROA and Dukich is the executive director of the Mt. Si Food Bank.

Henning, however, dreamed up the concept. He thought the valley needed a Halloween event that wasn’t too scary but fun enough that it would appeal to middle school and high school students. He needs them, he said, to help behind the scenes and to be in the scenes.

Indeed, Night on a Dark Trail requires about 400 volunteers. Auditions began a couple months ago and the committee and other volunteers have been pulling together the show, the equipment and the costumes for weeks.

This year’s Night on a Dark Trail will be held in a new location, near the Puget Sound Energy building on Douglas Street in Sno-qualmie.

The cast is multi-generational, ranging in age from 10 years-old to 76.

“We’re not actors,” said Haver-field. “We just show up.”

Last year the “we” she referred to included her children and her father. And one reason they participated, she noted, is the purpose of the event.

“It is family-oriented,” she said. “We want people to be comfortable bringing their children. And parents miss out if they don’t go through the trail with their kids because there’s humor on all different levels.”

Dancers from two Valley studios, Ignite and Cascade, provide pre-walk entertainment.

“We tell them this is one time they get to dance in the rain,” Hennig said.

Hennig offers one piece of advice: Dress for wet weather.

In 2011, the first year, it stormed up to three minutes before the then one-night event opened. At that initial show, they asked for donations and were pleased to make $2,009 for the food bank.

Last year, it rained all the time.

“We drowned in the rain but it was a great show,” Hennig said. “We still made $4,400.”

Night on a Dark Trail

6:30-9 p.m. Oct. 18-19

Performances near Puget Sound Energy Building

35413 S.E. Douglas St., Snoqualmie

Tickets $10 per person

Proceeds benefit Mt Si Food Bank


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