CHARLES TOWN – There’s no shortage of ways to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve in our area, from a Halloween extravaganza downtown on Friday to the annual haunted house at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds this weekend, the annual night of door-to-door trick-or-treating next Wednesday and more. A look at some of the spooky, scary fun coming up:
Early-bird trick-or-treat, Friday
The free event – another special activity put on by the nonprofit Discover Downtown Charles Town organization – happens from 4 to 6 p.m.
Adults should bring their young companions to the DDCT booth at the intersection of Charles and Washington streets, where volunteers will hand out a suggested trick-or-treat route listing participating businesses.
Kids and adults also will get ballots to vote on which merchant’s carved pumpkin creation they deem best – with the winning businesses snagging a special prize.
Besides handing out treats, many businesses will be offering specials on Friday, including live music at Dish Bistro; a free portrait sitting for kids in costume from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Tiptoe Studios; and a raffle for a free beading class at Carmen’s Beads & Bling.
Mediterranean Café, Needful Things, Fast Cash Pawn and So Angelina’s all will offer special discounts on food or merchandise during the event, and No Tomorrow Tattoo plans a Haunted Laboratory Tour, Halloween story reading, and snacks and beverages until 8:30 p.m.
Other businesses are offering treats in the form of adult beverages. Beasley’s Books & Eccentricities is touting Zombie Zinfandel for $4 glass, while a discount on tasting wines will be offered at Albert & Arnold’s Wine and Cheese. Jumpin’ Java Café plans specials on both wine and beer.
Other merchants taking part: Skippers Downtown Dips & Deli (now serving pumpkin ice cream), A Touch of Class Emporium, Remax 1st Realty, Blackwell Property Management, Enviro-Tech Pest Services, United Bank, CVS, the Jefferson County Commission, Skinner Law Firm, Collins Barber Shop, Bank of Charles Town, Studio M Salon & Spa, Bars and Booths, Harvest Pointe Community Church, American Legion Jackson-Perks Post 71, the Law Office of Michael E. Briel, Bottner & Skillman Attorneys at Law, the Spirit of Jefferson, Charles Town City Hall, Three Points Cycle and the Crawford & Keller law firm.
Planning to attend? In order to make sure businesses have enough treats on hand, organizers ask participants to RSVP on the DDDCT Facebook page or at discoverdowntowncharlestowntrickortreat.eventbrite.com.
Happening event, Friday
The Jefferson County Parks and Rec’s annual family-friendly Halloween Happening runs from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday at Sam Michaels Park, 235 Sam Michael’s Lane in Shenandoah Junction. Admission is $5. Games, crafts, costume judging, hayrides and more. Hot dogs, burgers, fries, drinks and other snacks will be available at an additional cost. Also on Friday, parents may bring youngsters ages 3 to 5 to the Jefferson County Community Center activity room to make a spooky Halloween craft between 11:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. The cost is $8. To get more information, call 304-728-3207 or go to jcprc.org.
Haunted Fairground, Friday and Saturday
Want to get scared for a good cause? The Haunted Fairground wraps up its 19 th season in Kearneysville this weekend.
The fun happens from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds on Old Leetown Pike.
This year’s event features 25 separate themed “scares,” including one building that offers a 3D experience with large mazes and more than 60 ghosts and ghouls.
Members of the Country Roads Car Club put on the event, and earmark proceeds to charity. Over the years, Haunted Fairgrounds has brought in more than $138,000 for Santa’s Toy Shop, the Eastern Panhandle Free Clinic, the Charles Town Community Ministries Food Pantry and Jefferson County Fire & Rescue.
Held rain or shine, the Haunted Fairground is a bargain, too – just $7 for teens and adults and $4 for children 12 and younger. For more information, go online to thehauntedfairgrounds.com or call 304-725-4141.
Costume Parade+, Oct. 31
The Charles Town Library is the place to get the Halloween party started long before dark – with a special craft time, a costume parade and more.
Officials at the Charles Town Library at 200 E. Washington St. are encouraging youngsters to start their Halloween celebration early, with a drop-in craft time anytime between 1 and 3:30 p.m.
Says librarian Marcella Genz: “We will have supplies available to create a jolly paper plate pumpkin or creepy spider. You may take your creation home or leave it at the library for display and pick it up at a later date.”
At 3:30 p.m., the library will offer a Halloween-themed storytime and then a costume parade at 4:20 p.m. where any child 12 and under may come to show off their costumes and compete for prizes.
“Come as your favorite ghoul, superhero or even storybook character – let your imagination be your guide!” Genz said.
She also has an idea for a treat that will last longer than most Halloween candy: “Don’t forget to take home a good book to really get you into the ‘spirit’ of Halloween!”
Questions on the event? Call the library at 304-725-2208.
Trick or treat night, Oct. 31
Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, so municipalities had an easy time designating the official trick-or-treating hours.
Officials in Charles Town, Shepherdstown, Martinsburg and Harpers Ferry-Bolivar have given the OK for kids in costume to take to the streets between 6 and 8 p.m. for the traditional annual door-to-door pleading for treats.