PORT HARDY—Nineteen years ago, Steve Johnsen offered to put on a Halloween night fireworks show at Storey’s Beach.
He’s still at it, but the evening has turned out to be much more than a one-man show.
“We do all this by donation from members and businesses of our town,” said Johnsen, whose sets up and sets off the fireworks with the help of a crew that includes Tim Thorpe, Ken Houghton, Dennis McGill, Ron and Val Hart and Erich Krawietz.
By the end of September Johnsen had already taken possession of a large pallet of fireworks, and promised more were on the way.
A donation from the District of Port Hardy provided seed money, though Johnson and his team are always on the lookout for more assistance. The District also contributes traffic-control and clean-up services; Jim Burgess of Spike Top Cedar donates wood for the bonfire and Fox’s Disposal helps with delivery; and George Ewald and the staff of Providence Place Inn will serve hot chocolate.
This year’s event begins with the bonfire at 6:30 p.m., with the fireworks to begin at 8 p.m. sharp.
To donate, call Johnsen at 250-902-2221 or 250-949-0732.
Port McNeill fireworks
Port McNeill’s Volunteer Fire Department once again will host the community’s Halloween fireworks show at Centennial Ballpark, next to the Community Hall.
As in Port Hardy, the event will include a bonfire in the parking lot of the Community Hall, and free hot dogs and hot chocolate will be served before the show.
Stage Fright in McNeill
Port McNeill Lion’s Club is kicking off this Halloween season with a fund-raising evening of spooky magic by illusionist John Kaplan Friday, Oct. 26, at Sunset Elementary School.
The event is a benefit for Sunset’s school breakfast program and for the Gazette Hamper Fund, and is the second he has performed in Port McNeill. Kaplan, a 30-year veteran of making magic across Canada, appeared at North Island Secondary School in the early days of his career, in 1984, in a fund-raiser for the NISS student council.
Kaplan is a veteran magician and entertainer who has made a career of helping schools and organizations raise funds through his family oriented shows, which are often tailored for special occasions and holidays, including shows with Christmas and Halloween themes.
This month’s Stage Fright show is described as “full of macabre magic, silly spookiness and twisted illusions,” accompanied by eerie music, a light show and special effects. Audience members are promised a chance to participate by helping choose who will assist in Kaplan’s famed guillotine illusion.
The show begins at 7 p.m. in the school gymnasium. For information, call Pierre Le Gal at 250-956-4296.