Tiny town of Bucoda goes all in on Halloween, including buying its very own hearse

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.

Abby Spegman: 360-704-6869