Jack-o’-lanterns glow on porches and costumes are flying off the racks as children of all ages get ready to haunt for treats.
Fall Festivals and Halloween events are planned through this week and next. Hayrides, haunted houses and tours, fall festivals, costume contests for people and pets, dances, beautiful chamber music and zombies are ushering in the winter holidays with family festivities.
Local festivities began Tuesday, with a pumpkin-decorating contest at the Tahlequah Public Library, for children and adults.
Local mom He Ning, was holding son Letian, 1, while his sister Mulan Zhang, 4, decorated a pumpkin at the Tahlequah Public Library.
“We will focus on the kids, go trick-or-treating or other activities,” Ning said. “Mulan will be a princess and Letian will be a bear.”
The annual Caney Community Center Fall Festival begins at 6 p.m. and includes a new spook trail, hayride, pumpkin-carving contest, cakewalk, and other games. Food will be available at the concession stand.
“The hayride is not spooky; we don’t want to scare any children,” said Marsha Coles, president of the Tailholt Community Organization. “The hayride stops at the spook trail for those who want to get off.”
It’s the first year for the spook trail which includes scenes like a pirate and spooky hollow, Coles said, and little buildings with spooky themes.
“The food is always good and everyone loves bingo,” she said. “The costume contest and pumpkin-carving judging will be around 8 p.m. and the hayride begins when the games end, around 9 p.m., when it’s good and dark.”
Signs wil be posted at Speedy’s and on State Highway 100 to guide people to the community center, Coles said. For more information, contact Coles at (918) 316-1593.
Emalee Holderbee and her son, Dawson, 3, chatted about non-scary Halloween plans as he painted his pumpkin at the library.
“We’ve been to the pumpkin patch at [First United Methodist Church] and shucked corn,” Holderbee said. “Last year, we went to Cornerstone Church, their activities were mostly for children.”
Young Dawson stopped painting to say he doesn’t care for hayrides.
One activity they attended turned out to be scary, and they would have liked to have known ahead of time it wasn’t child friendly.
Two schools have Fall Festival fundraiser events for families.
A costume contest is among the activities at Keys Elementary School community Fall Festival and fundraiser from 6 to 8:30 p.m., which includes a silent basket auction, inflatables, bingo, other games and a scary spook house.
The costume contest will be judged at 7 p.m. with cash prizes awarded. The auction includes OKC Thunder tickets. Admission is free, tickets for activities are 25 cents each.
The Briggs Service Club is hosting a fall festival and bean dinner from 5 to 7 p.m., cost of the meal is $5.
Festival games begin at 6 p.m. and cost 25 to 50 cents. Bingo starts at 7 p.m. and is 50 cents per card and game. All activities end at 9 p.m
New to town, Melissa Hamlin is looking for activities for her teenage daughters Megan, 16 and Elizabeth, 14. So far, they plan to hand out candy and go to the Castle in Muskogee.
“I like to be scared,” Hamlin said. “I’ve been looking online for activities that are safe for the kids like carnivals, fun stuff to do with the kids.”
Those who might want to drive a bit this Saturday can go to Grove for the Historic Haunted Halloween, at Har-Ber Village in Grove, 5:30 - 8:30, is $7 for non-members and $4 for members, call 918 786-6446 or go online to www.har-bervillage.com.
Halloween activities, Thursday, Oct. 31, include Trunk or Treat, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church; a Halloween Hootenanny with Scary Larry and friends at Iguana Cafee beginning at 7 p.m.; Haunted Seminary Hall tours begin at 9 p.m. and continue until midnight, cost is $5 for NSU students and alumni, and $6 for the public.
For details hon all the area fall festivals and carnivals, go to www.tahlequahTDP.com