Boise’s Harrison Boulevard Goes All Out For Halloween

Oct 31, 2014

Some neighborhoods see a lot more trick-or-treaters than others Halloween night. One of the busiest Halloween hotspots is Boise’s Harrison Boulevard.

We caught up with Harrison homeowner Scott Petersen as he was painting the walkway to his front door with a rectangular sponge attached to a handle.

“At the moment we’re actually creating our yellow brick road," Petersen says. "I found this little tool at Home Depot and my girlfriend found the paint, which is washable, which is critical.”

Peterson’s porch is draped with sparkly green fabric. There’s a big sign that says “the Emerald City of Oz.” Half of his lawn is studded with three-foot-tall lollipops and half of it is a mini corn field with real corn stalks and a scarecrow.

“We had kind of the scary house the last three years," Petersen explains. "Each year it got bigger and bigger, and scarier. But this year we’re kind of departing from that theme and doing the Emerald City.”

There are still some more traditional Halloween elements to the design, like the wheelbarrow full of skulls. Peterson says on Harrison Blvd. Halloween is the big holiday for decoration. By contrast Christmas is a study in subtlety. Petersen says even though he’s watching the neighbors and they’re watching him, this is not about competition.

"We just do it for our own sense and our own joy," he says. "No sense of competition at all. I don’t [feel one.] And I don’t think the other neighbors do either.”

Maybe it’s not about showing up the neighbors, but you could say it’s about peer pressure. Peterson says before he moved to this street five years ago, he didn’t care about Halloween a bit.

“It’s absolutely Harrison," he says. "If we were over on 14th we’d probably just throw out a few pumpkins like most people do, and pass a bag or two of candy out, you know call it a day. "But we just feel that this street and what is created is so unique that we want to contribute to it to make it even better.”

What Harrison Blvd. residents have created is a mile-long Halloween party. The street is packed with people for hours. Petersen says they hand out between 2,500 and 3,000 pieces of candy each Halloween night.

“You should stop by," he says. "You’ll never experience anything like it.”

On Harrison Blvd. even people who won't be there for trick-or-treating participate in decoration.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Find Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam

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