Laura Newcombe is hosting a wedding in her front yard — and you and a guest are invited.
But don’t expect the obvious: The haunting headless bride wearing a white blood-smeared wedding dress and the looming zombies may shock you.
Newcombe said she has set up this large Halloween display featuring handmade decorations every year because her grandchildren have always loved it. And this Halloween there’s a twist.
“This year we decided we wanted to make a difference in people’s lives and spread our good spirits,” Newcombe said in an email.
She asks that her “wedding guests” stop by between Oct. 17-31 and drop off canned goods and/or coat donations in the bins at the end of her driveway, located at 704 SW 304th St., Federal Way. All of the donations will benefit Multi-Service Center’s Food Bank.
Trick-or-treating will also be available on Oct. 31.
“We are just hoping to get a large turnout this year and try to make a difference in a few people’s lives.”
Light of Christ Community Garden’s Pumpkin Patch
The season’s festivities and giving will continue as Light of Christ Community Garden presents their annual Pumpkin Patch, which runs Oct. 15-31 at 34249 21st Ave. SW., Federal Way.
This is the sixth consecutive year that Light of Christ has presented the pumpkin patch, which includes free admission, tractor rides, games, photo ops and a scarecrow contest – all in a mud-free patch. Come and vote for your favorite scarecrow, buy some goodies to eat and choose from a great variety of pumpkins from local farms.
Donations are suggested. Profits from the Pumpkin Patch Fundraiser will support the Light of Christ Community Garden. The garden helps bring people together to work in unity for the benefit of others. It is volunteer operated and 100 percent of the produce is donated to those in need in this community.
For more information, visit www.lightofchristgarden.org. Hours of operation are Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.–7 p.m. and Sunday 12–6 p.m.
Fall Foliage Festival and Plant Sale
The Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden is teaming up with Pacific Bonsai Museum to host a week-long event bringing together everyone’s favorite autumn things. Fall color will be in full splendor, with rich splashes of golds, reds and oranges throughout the garden’s 22-acre garden, and among the foliage of Pacific Bonsai Museum’s world-class bonsai collection.
From plant care workshops, to foliage-seeing tours, to activities for kids and families, the public is invited to participate in a wide range of free offerings.
Throughout the festival, visitors are asked to bring non-perishable foods to support the community.
“This free event is a way of saying thank you to our community,” Britt Board, program and outreach manager of the garden, said in a press release, adding, “We hope that visitors will pay it forward by supporting the Multi-Service Center and the many families in Federal Way that are experiencing food insecurity.”
On opening day, Oct. 20 between 10 a.m. and noon, the public is encouraged to bring their original, pre-carved pumpkins to enter in a free competition. Prize winners will be announced at 1 p.m. and selected by visitor votes – first place receives $100 and a one-year family membership to the garden; second place receives $50 and a one-year individual membership; and third place receives a one-year individual membership.
Opening day also features artist-led demonstrations in the Visitor Center. Botanical artist Margaret Trent will demonstrate her botanically-accurate drawings and sell original works of art. Trent’s work has been exhibited at Bloedel Reserve, the Clymer Museum and Gallery, and the Washington State Convention Center. Tacoma jeweler Melissa Brauner of VERSO Jewelry will demonstrate her nature-inspired wearable art. These featured artists will sell their locally made, one-of-a-kind pieces on Oct. 20 only. The garden will also host renowned plant vendors Windcliff Plants of Heronswood garden, as well as Bryan’s Rare Japanese Maples.
Oct. 21, Pacific Bonsai Museum will celebrate the opening of the Puget Sound Bonsai Association annual viewing stone exhibition, Stone Images IX, with a Viewing Stone Petting Zoo (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). The public is invited to this hands-on activity to pet, polish and sand stones, see in-progress, hand-carved daizas (viewing stone stands), and learn about viewing stone displays. Joel Schwarz from the association will be present to answer questions and demonstrate stone polishing.
Oct. 21, from 2-3 p.m., Pacific Bonsai Museum bonsai gardener Patrick Buckholz will present a talk on Overwintering Bonsai just in time for fall. The public can learn what steps the museum takes to prepare its collection for winter, and about the various methods for overwintering trees, why certain bonsai need a period of dormancy and how to deal with specific challenges of the Pacific Northwest growing climate.
Oct. 27 is Fern Day, featuring a talk by curator Jo Laskowski of the Hardy Fern Foundation, followed by a tour of the garden’s Victorian stumpery. All ages are welcome to stick around after the tour to make a sun print with ferns (while supplies last).
Throughout the week, festival-goers can visit a fall-themed photo station to snap a picture with friends and family, enjoy hot apple cider, purchase fall-themed pastries from Federal Way’s French-style Ma Boulangerie bakery, and participate in fall-themed art-making activities. Museum docents will be available daily from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the exploration station where visitors can learn about the care of bonsai, see tools of the trade and try their hand at wiring.
The garden’s plant show will also feature rhododendrons and companion plants up to 50 percent off. And for the first time, the garden will also sell pumpkins. Peruse a selection of sizes and species for pumpkin carving and fall décor.
The Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden and Pacific Bonsai Museum are located at 2515 S. 336th St., Federal Way. Free parking is available across from the museum (follow signs to “Garden Parking”).