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Clark Avenue Halloween in Billings costs pretty penny but is labor of love

Most homes spend $300-400 in candy
Clark Avenue Halloween
Posted at 4:57 PM, Oct 31, 2022

BILLINGS — Monday marks the most important day of the year on Clark Avenue in Billings. Homeowners know costs will likely go up in October, with each house likely to pay $300-400 in candy alone as thousands of trick-or-treaters descend on the popular five-block route between Division Street and Fifth Street West.

What many don't know is that many of the giant displays are there for less than 24 hours.

"We usually put it up on Halloween day and take it down on Halloween night," said Sheri Sala, who lives on the 300 block of Clark.

2022 is Sala’s 11th year on the street, with a new theme every October.

"I’ve wanted to live on this street forever because I love Halloween," she said with a smile.

That’s a key because all of the monstrous magic isn’t cheap.

"We invest thousands, a lot of us, over the years," she said.

Clark Avenue Halloween
Josh Stanek spent most of Monday preparing his Clark Avenue house for Halloween evening, when thousand of trick-or-treaters are expected to show up.

"Handing out candy is a full-time job," echoed Josh Stanek.

This is Stanek’s third Clark-O-Ween - and yes, he knew what he was getting into.

"Everybody warned me," he laughed. "Halloween’s my favorite holiday so I didn’t have a problem with it at all."

A Halloween-themed music playlist helped get him through afternoon setup Monday.

"We're not the best house on the block," he said, "but every year we add a little more."

Clark Avenue Halloween
Most Clark Avenue residents store thousands of dollars worth of Halloween decorations year-round to prepare for the one-day extravaganza.

Many Clark Avenue regulars would vote Jarod Tocco's family's house on the corner of Clark and 3rd Street West a Best On the Block winner.

"Over the years, it’s been quite a sum," Tocco said.

He doesn’t know exactly how much his family has spent on the famous corner house over the last 30 years. But the veterans know how much candy to buy.

"The last big one we had was 3,500 pieces of candy," Tocco said.

Clark Avenue Halloween
Jarod Tocco estimated his family on the corner of Clark Avenue and 3rd Street West had bought 3,500 pieces of candy to hand out to trick-or-treaters on Halloween Monday.

They're expecting a similar number this year, now two years removed from COVID-19 shutdown. Tocco and crew even know not to rake beforehand - leaves are key for covering up cords. It’s details like that most of the 10,000 trick-or-treaters won’t notice, but that make Clark Avenue homeowners a special group.

"This is why I moved here," Sala said. "This street is just so magic. I love it."