Spooky Town Gets Spookier, Buys Hearse for Halloween Celebration

The Town of Bucoda, Washington is dead serious about Halloween.

Several years ago, residents voted to officially change the town’s name to “Boo-Coda” each October, a switch that accompanies an annual haunted house fundraiser.

This year, Bucoda is going a spooky step further with its fall festivities.

Using funds from the Port of Olympia Small Cities program plus a cash donation, town officials purchased a hearse to be used for year-round marketing purposes and as an attraction during the 2018 Spook-Tacular.

“We see the hearse as a long-term investment to promote Bucoda at local parades and festivals throughout the year and as a photo opportunity at the Scary-Nights Haunted House,” said Bucoda Mayor Alan Carr. “We created the Boo-Coda Spook-Tacular celebration to have something fun during the daytime for visitors to experience. These are activities you don’t see at other area festivals.”

Bucoda, Halloween

Casket racing is one of the events featured at Bucoda’s Spook-Tacular. Photo by Clair Ferris.

The town’s fall festivities are pretty unique. Guests can race caskets, watch a hearse procession, learn about famous funerals, make their own tombstones, and write their own obituaries.

So why does this small town about 20 miles south of Olympia embrace the eerie spirit of Halloween so wholeheartedly?

The simple answer is tourism.

“Several years ago, our town council researched ways to raise awareness of Bucoda and funding for needed community projects,” Carr said. “We learned about the small town of Palouse, Washington and their Haunted Palouse raising substantial funds each year.”

Money raised at Bucoda’s 2018 Spook-Tacular will go toward upgrading the town’s community center and gymnasium, the latter of which was built nearly 80 years ago.

Bucoda, Halloween

Photo by Clair Ferris.

“We hope to continue to build on the theme and become one of the best Halloween towns in the Pacific Northwest. We currently have visitors from the Seattle area and hope adding additional activities each year will attract even more,” Carr added.

It seems, in the South Sound at least, that Boo-coda has the Halloween celebration market cornered.

For more information and a schedule of activities, which begin Sept. 28, visit www.boo-coda.com.

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is the digital coordinator at South Sound magazine. Email her.
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