Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Haunted Barn Salvages Snowed Out Blazing Pumpkins
Wednesday, October 23, 2019


The horse stables at Swiftsure Ranch have become haunted.

One horse stall has taken on the appearance of a graveyard. Another is covered with giant moving spiders. And still another boasts a cowboy skeleton.

You’re invited to check these and others when Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center throws a Haunted Barn BBQ from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25. Admission is free; barbecue and chili will be for sale.

The Spooky Barn Tour replaces the Blazing Pumpkins fundraiser, which was cancelled by the heavy snow that fell on Saturday, Oct. 19.

“We couldn’t set up for it because the storm was blowing snow in our eyeballs,” said Molly Boomer, director of operations for the ranch.

The ranch had already collected some 200 pumpkins that had been donated by Atkinsons’ Market and carved by Wood River High School seniors, the WOW Generosity Project and students at the Sun Valley Community School. So, staff went into gear, trying to figure out how to salvage what they could of the popular Blazing Pumpkins event.

“We couldn’t really move the event because it takes 70 volunteers to put it on and that would be  difficult for a staff of 10 to do,” said Boomer. “But Andrea Cookston and her family from the Sun Valley Community School stepped up to decorate the barn, with each horse stall having a different theme.”

The Cookston family has long loved Halloween, Boomer said. They used to throw lavish Halloween parties when their children were younger. And the opportunity to haunt the horse barn gave them a chance to revisit those days.

In addition to the barn, the blazing pumpkins will be on display. Pulled pork sandwiches and various chilis, including vegetarian cooked up by volunteers, will be for sale.

There will also be a free banquet of all-you-can eat s’mores.

Proceeds will go to the equine therapy, which is offered free to adults and children with physical, cognitive and other disabilities.

In addition, the ranch is raffling off a full season ski pass donated by Sun Valley Resort, as well as a sheepskin rug donated by Overland Sheepskin Company, a round of golf for four at Sun Valley, fishing gear and a month’s membership to Zenergy Health Club and Spa.

Raffle tickets cost $10 or six for $50 and can be purchased by phone at 208-578-9111 until Dec. 9 or at the Haunted Barn.

Swiftsure is located at 114 Calypso Lane south of Bellevue on Highway 75. Look for the giant flag on the right side of the highway as you’re heading to Timmerman Hill.



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