Spooky ‘Swamp Meet’ vendors pitch Hallowe’en wares

INCLUDES VIDEO VIGNETTE | This unique ‘swap meet’ at Oaks Amusement Park put hundreds in the Hallowe’en spirit ...

Hundreds of Hallowe’en buffs – many of the buyers and sellers from outer East Portland – come to browse spooky art and costumes at the “Swamp Meet”, held at Oaks Amusement Park.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The spooky village of vendors that moved into Oaks Park’s large outdoor pavilion on September 4 was unlike most “swap meets” you may happen by. This one turned out to be the second annual “Swamp Meet”, by the NW Haunters Association.

What was it like to visit this event?
Take a look at our Video Vignette:

“We started the ‘Swamp Meet’ because crafters were looking for a place to show and sell their cool Hallowe’en stuff, before the season actually begins,” explained organizer Missi Hamilton.

“Our first year was 2019; the COVID-19 pandemic shut us down last year, but we’re back strong in 2021,” Hamilton told East Portland News.

Swamp Meet coordinator Missi Hamilton spends a moment with a couple of her buddies, Taffy the Klown and Bezoar – who say they crawled out of their haunt in the Lents neighborhood to enjoy the event.

“We consider ourselves the event that opens the Hallowe’en season, here in the greater Portland metropolitan area,” Hamilton remarked. “Among our 37 vendors, we have artists and makers of ‘dark arts’, jewelry, masks, voodoo bags, Hallowe’en decorating, and oh, yes – a live fortuneteller!”

The Swamp Meet organizers commissioned Scott Tangen and Karen Olson of Pumpkin Acres – a Hallowe’en “haunt” – open to the public during October – in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood that’s open nightly in October – to create this scary selfie spot.

Liven up a haunt with this mirror guillotine, created by the “Coffin Collector”, Tom LaBonty, from Parkrose!

After the spooky swap meet was over, Hamilton reported back about it: “According to our shoppers and guests, our ‘Swamp Fest’ was a huge success! All the feedback from vendors so far has been positive, and they all want to be invited back next year.”

While there wasn’t someone designated to count the number of folks who came by, Hamilton estimated that several hundred Hallowe’en fans came through the gates.

-5 These two crafters from Montavilla, Stephanie Snyder and Tonya Looney, offer creepy décor items, just right for getting into the Hallowe’en spirit.

“It was great fun to see Hallowe’en enthusiasts out and about, getting ready for our favorite holiday!” she enthused. “And, we’re so thankful for the staff at Oaks Park who has been fabulous to work with; they’ve been supportive of our ‘Swamp Meet’ from the start.”

Are you brave enough to learn more about the NW Haunters Association? If so, CLICK HERE.

>> On our Front Page: “Feed me, Seymour!” exclaims “Audrey II”, in between Trevor Steinberg (as Seymour) and Eva Geozos (as Audrey), as they sell “Little Shop of Horrors” themed wares.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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