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Halloween Happenings: It’s getting spooky in Gig Harbor

Posted on October 17th, 2023 By:

If you’re planning to over-indulge on candy on Halloween night, you’d be well-advised to get some exercise ahead of time. The Rattle Dem Bones bicycle ride is a good way to do that while also taking your costume for a test drive. 

Rattle Dem Bones, first held in 2019, returns Sunday, Oct. 29, for another year of combining cycling and costumes. It starts at 8 a.m. and ends at noon, with three ride lengths available for cyclists of all abilities and staminas. 

Costume and cycle 

The idea is simple: Dress up in a costume and go for a bike ride. Your entry fee (it ranges from $15 to $35 depending on whether you’re an adult or a child) supports the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation’s Community Recreation Fund. Extra points if you can incorporate your bicycle into the costume. And don’t forget to wear a helmet. 

Costumed riders take a break during the 2022 Rattle Dem Bones ride. Photo courtesy Greater Gig Harbor Foundation

“Everyone who comes has fun,” said Marlene Druker, who founded Rattle Dem Bones in 2019 and who now serves as a Greater Gig Harbor Foundation board member.

Registration for the ride is open now. Click here to register. The event has the capacity for up to 200 riders. 

“I would love to fill it because everyone who rides has a good time,” Druker said. “If you don’t come you’re missing out.” 

Rattle Dem Bones route options 

Rattle Dem Bones has three options for rides: The Monster Hill ride, which is 36 miles and includes 2,300 feet of elevation gain (route map here); Son of Monster, 22 miles with 1,400 feet of elevation gain (route map); and Mini Monster, a relatively flat 15-mile ride that can easily be made shorter (route map). 

All routes start and end at the Park and Ride lot on Kimball Drive. Though you can start the ride as early as 8 a.m. (9 a.m. for the Mini Monster), you can also start later if you want. The important thing is to be back at the park and ride by noon, because that’s when the party starts and the prizes are awarded.

A costume contest features 12 categories, among them best use of a bicycle as part of a costume, best group and best couple. Prizes, donated by area businesses, are awarded for each contest winner.

And if you need a sugar fix along the way, volunteers will be handing out candy to riders on each of the courses. 

Riders set out on the 2022 Rattle Dem Bones ride at the Kimball Park and Ride. Photo courtesy Greater Gig Harbor Foundation


Druker cited the former Boneshaker ride in the Skagit County community of La Conner and Portland’s Worst Day of the Year Ride as inspirations for Rattle Dem Bones. Both feature(d) the combination of bicycles and costumes. 

So how do people typically dress up for Rattle Dem Bones? Druker said witch costumes are popular, since it’s easy to incorporate a broomstick into a bicycle. Superheroes also are common choice, because the tight-fitting garb associated with your Spider-Mans and Superwomen are also sensible for long bike rides.

Contests are judged based on pictures taken at the beginning of the ride by an official photographer. Druker said many people get the photo taken, then remove any part of the costume that might get in the way of the bike ride. 

On the other hand, “It is also cool to come up with a practical costume that you can actually ride bikes with.” 

Rattle Dem Bones riders on the Cushman Trail in 2022. Photo courtesy Greater Gig Harbor Foundation

Other Halloween happenings 

Here are some other events in area’s ghoulishly packed Halloween season calendar: 

Trunk/Trick or Treats 

Friday, Oct. 27: PenMet Parks hosts the Sehmel Trunk or Treat from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, at Sehmel Homstead Park, 10123 78th Ave. 

Halloween night: The ever-popular downtown Gig Harbor Trick or Treat is from 3 to 6 p.m. Oct. 31. Harborview Drive will close between Pioneer Way and Rosedale Street, with businesses along the downtown waterfront handing out candy. 

Halloween night: The Uptown Shopping Center hosts its annual Trick or Treat event from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 31.  

Halloween night: Harbor Life Church hosts a Trunk or Treat from 5 to 7 p.m. on Halloween night. The church is at 4417 56th St. The free event will include candy, a cake walk, games, laser tag and more. 

Crowds pack downtown Gig Harbor during the Downtown Waterfront Alliance’s 2022 trick or treat event. Photo courtesy Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance

Other Halloween events 

Friday, Oct. 20: Harbor History Museum hosts a Fall Family Night starting at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20. The event features arts and crafts, spooky stories and sweet snacks. Tickets cost $10 per child, or $5 for museum members. Recommended for ages 12 and under. Email [email protected] to RSVP. 

Saturday, Oct. 28: The first Witches Brew is at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Costumed paddlers will meet at the Gig Harbor Boat Launch and row out toward the Gig Harbor Lighthouse. Information here. 

Through Oct. 29: My Haunted Forest continues on select nights (mostly weekends) through Oct. 29. Tickets remain available for Oct. 20-22 and Oct. 26-29. They cost $28 for general admission or $40 for a fast pass. The forest is at 17616 S. Vaughn Road. 

Ongoing: Harbor Farms offers a bushel of fall fun, including a pumpkin patch. Read more about it in this Two in Tow & On the Go column. 

Submit your event at Gig Harbor Now’s new Calendar, or by emailing to [email protected].

Trick-or-Treaters at the Uptown shopping complex in 2022. Photo courtesy Uptown