EAST WENATCHEE — Watching Mistie Pearson and her daughter Torrance, 18, decorate the outside of their house for Halloween is an energizing experience.
The enthusiastic duo, with some help from Mistie’s husband Sean Madsen, make the holiday come alive with 30 inflatable characters scattered on the roof and in a small front yard.
Throughout the day, they smile, laugh and talk excitedly as they open tubs of decorations. They inflate some, plugging them into a maze of extension cords, and assemble others. Each one’s final location in the yard is thought out, and supports are staked into the ground.
To many who drive by their house at 301 N. James St. in East Wenatchee, it looks like the process could take a week, but the Pearsons do it in a day.
On Nov. 1, they’ll take down Halloween decorations for Thanksgiving. The day after Thanksgiving, 50 Christmas inflatables go up, and after that, Valentine’s Day is commemorated in the yard.
They bought their home in 2013.
"We started accruing a little bit at a time," Mistie said. "It's grown from one holiday to the next to the next."
Her favorite decoration is the Grim Reaper that stands at the front door. Torrance likes the ice dragon inflatable in the front yard the best, while Sean’s favorite is a large black cat on the roof.
All of the Halloween decorations fit into 14 tubs and three boxes.
“We finally bought a new 8-foot by 10-foot storage shed just for my holiday stuff,” Mistie said. “Before that they were overflowing everywhere.”
Growing up, she said, her family didn’t decorate for holidays.
"It's something I always wanted to do but never did," she said.
Now her inventory continues to grow. She gets them as gifts and buys them at thrift stores and after holidays when they go on sale.
"All year round, if I see something, I'll buy it," she said.
With increasing decorations for Halloween, she said, the number of trick-or-treaters also goes up. She said the first year they moved in, they only had a couple of kids stop by.
“Last year we had to steal our kid’s candy,” she said. The couple have two daughters and two sons.
But she said it’s the reaction she gets that keeps her going.
“The bus drivers will slow down so all the kids can check it out,” she said. “That’s my absolute favorite part – everybody else getting excited.”