I love the creative ways people have helped us survive 2020, and it’s not over yet, so keep those creative juices flowing!

Barbie Butz e1577383874121
Barbie Butz

Terrie Banish, Deputy City Manager for the City of Atascadero, is certainly one of those “creative” minds. She emailed me information about the “Virtual Halloween Costume Contest at the Charles Paddock Zoo,” which began Oct. 17 and will run through Nov. 1.

This event is in place of the Zoo Boo event that has taken place for years at the Zoo. So, here’s how it works this year. Dress up at home in your best Halloween costume and go to the Zoo. Take a photo in front of the designated “photo-op” display inside the Zoo, and email the photo to photocontest@atascadero.org along with the participant’s name, age and email/phone number. Please write “Halloween Costume Contest” on the subject line.

Here are the following categories: Under 5 years old; 5-8 years old; 9-12 years old; 13 and up, including adults; and Group costume (all ages). A winner will be selected in each category and prizes will be awarded. There is no fee to enter the contest, but the picture must be taken at the Zoo at the designated “photo-op” display. Regular admission fees will apply to enter the Zoo.


The Charles Paddock Zoo follows all of the State and County safety guidelines for COVID 19, allowing a limited number of people in attendance into the facility at any given time, which allows for proper distancing. Face coverings are required.

Over 300 animals call the Charles Paddock Zoo home, including red pandas, monkeys, meerkats, parrots, a Malayan Tiger, a variety of reptiles, and more. The Zoo is located at Atascadero Lake Park on Highway 41-Morro Road, one mile west of Highway 101.

For more information about the Zoo, visit the website at charlespaddockzoo.org or call 805-461-5080.

The Printery Foundation, formed to restore and preserve the historic Atascadero Printery Building, is receiving support from another nonprofit organization known as The Questers, whose purpose is to “preserve the past for the future; promote education in the fields of historical preservation and restoration; give grants for the preservation and restoration of historical artifacts, existing memorials, historical buildings, and landmarks.

The Questers is an international organization with 568 Chapters and approximately 8,000 members whose Motto is, “It’s fun to seek and a joy to find.”

The local Agua Caliente Chapter of California Questers, co-hosted by the Atascadero Printery Foundation, is presenting “Fabulous Fun & Funky, The Questers’ Coat and Accessory Sale” at Hope Chest Emporium 5800 El Camino Real, Atascadero, on Nov. 7, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The sale includes men’s and women’s jackets, coats, purses, scarves, wallets, jewelry and more. Donations of items in clean, wearable, useable condition are gladly accepted on Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 22-24, from 1-4 p.m. at the backdoor of Hope Chest Emporium.

Proceeds from the sale will help The Questers in their efforts to raise funds to restore the windows at the historic Printery.

For more information, contact event chairman Sheila New at sgnew@sbcglobal.net or call Karen McNamara at Hope Chest Emporium, 805-459-5113.

Enjoy the weekend.