The tiny town of Bucoda is going all in on Halloween this year, complete with its very own hearse.
Yes, a hearse — a 1995 Cadillac Fleetwood.
For years the town — on state Route 507 between Tenino and Centrala — has hosted a haunted house as a fund raiser. About five years ago, the town council upped the ante when it voted to change the name of Bucoda to Boo-Coda every October.
This year officials have planned a month’s worth of Halloween-themed activities called Spook-Tacular with the hope of attracting more visitors and raising money for the Bucoda Community Center and the town’s gymnasium.
To spread the word, the town bought a hearse to enter in area parades and festivals, using $1,000 from the Port of Olympia’s Small Cities program and a $1,000 donation.
“We needed some kind of advertising to go out to parades and festivals, instead of just holding a sign. Everybody looks at a hearse,” said Mayor Alan Carr, who drove to California in July to pick up the hearse.
Money raised from Spook-Tacular events will go to installing an elevator at the community center and sprinklers at the gymnasium, which was built in 1939. (A list of events is available at www.boo-coda.com.)
They’ll include nightly trick-or-treating, a pumpkin pancake breakfast, a pumpkin-carving contest and costume contest.
Others are a little darker, including casket races, a procession of hearses complete with a brass band and a workshop on how to write your own obituary and tombstone.
“We’re all going to go eventually,” Carr pointed out.