Poulsbo’s Front Street is set to trick-or-treat

POULSBO — Historic downtown Poulsbo may be known for its charisma, class and charm, but it will be bursting at the seams this Wednesday with characters of every crazy kind, as merchants once again host Little Norway’s trick-or-treaters to an afternoon of scary delight.

Front Street will transform into an All Hallow’s Eve extravaganza from 4-6 p.m. Oct. 31 for visitors, who are encouraged to donate canned food items to North Kitsap Fishline in exchange for a risk-free place to pick up holiday goodies.

“It really is a kick for kids and adults alike,” said Meisha Rouser, public relations director for the Historic Downtown Poulsbo Association, which is sponsoring the event. “It’s a wonderful environment to bring your child, or the child inside of you, down.”

Rouser said all downtown merchants shift into high Halloween gear, many of them dressing up and each handing out candy to passing trick-or-treaters, which she said are just as often adults as they are younger kids.

“It’s so wonderful. It’s like being in a ‘50s movie,” said Marina Market owner Andrea Rowe. “It’s just peaceful, and you hear the giggling, laughing, everyone having a good time. It’s kind of the essence of why we all choose to do business down here.”

Rowe said nearly 2,000 children came out for the event last year, and this year she’ll be dolling out charms, blow-pops, bubble gum and more, but for her, the true spirit of the event is in the food donations. A member of the North Kitsap Fishline board, Rowe said the months before the Christmas holidays can be sparse ones for food banks.

“This time of year we run a little low on canned food,” she said. “It just seemed like a good thing to do to have the kids giving as well as getting. It’s really reinvigorated merchants to enjoy this event... it’s made people really, really happy to do it.”

North Kitsap Fishline operations manager Garvin Tootle agreed.

“It’s a great thing,” he said. “It’s real good for people to do that ‘cause it helps us.”

The food bank serves more than 7,000 people each month, and almost half of its customers are under the age of 18. Last year, the downtown Halloween event brought in 300 pounds of food for the organization.

Tootle said the need for food in the area often rises disproportionately to the incoming donations, as outdoor workers are left with less opportunities to earn and the cold corners many indoors. He said being able to rely on the food bank during the winter is important to many in the area.

This is the second year the HDPA has added food donations to the downtown Halloween event. Bins for food donations will be available at various locations during the two-hour function. For more information on the North Kitsap Fishline services, visit

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