Nigel Ablack, dressed at Jack Sparrow, and Richard Graham, dressed as Abraham Lincoln, put on a spooky performance at the 2017 Halloween open house. (Photo courtesy Nigel Ablack)

Saanich family to host large Halloween party open to all

Guests can expect zombies, Jack Sparrow and fireworks

Still looking for a Halloween event?

A Saanich family is gearing up to host another Halloween open house extravaganza featuring Jack Sparrow aboard a ghostly pirate ship, zombies and many other spooky sights.

The party starts at 7 p.m. and the fireworks show begins at 8 p.m., said Nigel Ablack, whose family has been hosting the public Halloween party for decades on their property at 3701 Palo Alto Street.

Each year there are treats, fireworks, mechanical zombies and other spooky creatures, a cemetery, a haunted cabin and a pirate ship set up in the large backyard.

READ ALSO: Conservation group, Saanich urge locals to dump decade-old tradition, not pumpkins

This year, decoration preparation began a month ago as the scenes are so detailed.

“We’re right up there with Disneyland,” Ablack said. “[The fireworks show] blows Butchart Gardens and the Inner Harbour away.”

Ablack and his family will also be dressed up in elaborate costumes and attendees are encouraged to get creative too.

Jack Sparrow will be back this year by popular demand. Each year, Ablack – who is from the Caribbean – sits for two hours while a makeup artist transforms him into the famous pirate. He spends the evening posing for photos with guests and acting like a swashbuckling pirate aboard a big ship.

“We do it Hollywood style,” he added proudly.

READ ALSO: QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

The event is open to the public and Ablack said usually between 200 and 300 people come by to celebrate. Everything at the event is free because his family just wants to give back to the community.

He emphasized that there is no drinking or smoking allowed on the property as there will be lots of children around.

Ablack, a retired Willis Point firefighter, also noted fire crews will be on scene to monitor the fireworks show just in case.


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