PORT TOWNSEND — Costumed children of all ages will take to the streets today — and the halls of the courthouse, schools and stores to celebrate Halloween.
Look for vampires, ghosts and goblins in the Jefferson County Courthouse, 1820 Washington St., where each department traditionally tries to outdo the other in decorations and costumes.
Office judging starts at 9 a.m., with the costume competition in the basement’s strong jail, now the county commissioners’ chambers, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
The ghosts of Erik the Red, Magellan, Marco Polo and Captain Cook will be haunting the halls at Mountainview Elementary School, 1919 Blaine St., as part of the annual living wax museum.
This year, students in two fifth grade classes will dress up as famous explorers, relating briefly their adventures as visitors pass by.
The wax museum opens at 11 a.m. and runs about an hour, but get there early — the room usually heats up and towards the end, the costumed figures start to melt.
Grant Street Elementary School’s annual costume parade through the halls and classrooms starts at 2:15 p.m., and is a good one for younger children.
The school is located at 1637 Grant St.
But the best place to see lots of cute children in costume as well as creative adults is the Main Street Halloween Parade, which attracts hordes of children and their families each year.
Participants gather downtown at the Bank of America at 3:45 p.m., then start off en masse at 4 p.m. down Water Street.
When they reach Swain’s General Store, they start back down the sidewalks, where shopowners in costume are stationed with treats in front of their stores.
The merchants also compete for the most creative costume award.
The parade turns Water Street into a pedestrian plaza from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. between Polk and Adams streets, so parade watchers may want to park out of the downtown core.
Trick-or-treaters and history buffs will not want to miss the Haunted Jail in the actual jail in the basement in Old City Hall, 540 Water St.
Sponsored by the Jefferson County Historical Society, the jail is free and includes a free coupon to visit the Jefferson County Historical Society museum, along with treats dispersed by Dracula from his coffin.
The entrance of the jail is on Madison Street and geared for young children, but the jail gets spookier as you go farther in, organizers say.
Halloween revelers may also want to stop by Safeway Food and Drug on Sims Way to see what the checkers are wearing this year, and check out the deli, which is doing a takeoff of the “Survivor” television show.
Employees at Quality Food Centers are also getting into the spirit of Halloween.
Virginia Bishop at the video counter said she always dresses up.
Calvary Chapel holds its annual Fall Carnival today from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Children are encouraged to come in costumes for the free event, which includes games, prizes and, of course, candy.
The church is located at 13474 Airport Cutoff Road off Highway 19.
In other areas of Port Townsend and Jefferson County, trick-or-treaters are expected at houses with their front porch lights turned on.
In Quilcene, the community will gather for a party at a downtown residence at the intersection of Washington and Herbert streets.
The party, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. is being sponsored by Quilcene Bible Church.
The public is invited to the party, which will feature games, prizes and candy.Community Halloween events have already been held in Brinnon and Chimacum.