Summer is sweet, but autumn is arguably cooler with fun Halloween events to enjoy all across America. Here’s a taste of just a few of the top treats – no tricks, we promise – that are sure to keep the pumpkins glowing this fall.
Keene Pumpkin Festival: Laconia, New Hampshire
At the Keene Pumpkin Festival it’s all about the orange fruit. Parades, pumpkin sales, and pumpkin flavored food and beverages are combined with concerts, and elaborate costumes, all in an iconic small town setting replete with autumn leaves. Some pumpkins weigh up to a 1000 pounds, while for lighter fare there’s a petting zoo and Kid’s Fun Zone, too.
Annual Village Halloween Parade: Red Hook, New York
If parades are your favorite, there’s a spooky-fine one to be had at the Annual Village Halloween Parade. Thousands of spectators come to watch a one-mile-long parade of costumes, singers, bands, circus performers, and elaborate puppets. Each year offers a specific theme for revelers, watchers, and parade participants to dress up as and enjoy. The 49th annual parade encourages kids to submit images for the parade’s puppets, a spooktacular experience for budding imaginations.
Halloween Carnaval: West Hollywood, California
Food vendors, game booths, and a wide parade of local, elaborately costumed participants have taken to the street in West Hollywood every October 31st since 1987. Costumes range from elaborate monsters straight off a Hollywood studio set to colorful characters merely imagined. It’s a tradition of happy revelry that lasts from dusk until 10:30 p.m., for a cavalcade of pure fun. Considered a top destination for people-watching come All Hallows Eve, it’s a party with D.J. ‘s, live musical acts, and a well-known after-party scene.
Festival of the Dead: Salem, Massachusetts
What could be more fitting than Salem, Massachusetts for a Halloween event that includes everything from paranormal workshops to magic rituals, fall food treats, and community bonfires. Story tellers, psychics, and haunted locales abound all in a charming town near the sea. The Salem Psychic Fair and Witches Market are not to be missed, nor is the Witches Ball.
Spooky Empire: Orlando, Florida
Comic book and horror film fans unite in time for the mega “Dark Comic Con” gathering in Orlando every fall for the last twenty years. Spooky Empire includes a hall filled with horror-gear and Halloween souvenir vendors, a film festival, tattoo festival, live music, and speakers with celebrity pedigrees.
Chicagoween: Chicago, Illinois
This popular festival rivals only St. Patrick’s Day as a favorite in the windy city. Streets light up with pumpkins, buildings are painted with Halloween-themed images, and the city’s fountains sport yellow and orange dye. There are pumpkin patches, haunted trails, and haunted houses, too. And of course, there are screenings of horror movies and costume balls, too.
Krewe of Boo Halloween Parade: New Orleans, Louisiana
Colorful floats wind their way down French Quarter streets at the annual Krewe of Boo Halloween Parade. From unusual 3D sculptures produced by Kern Studios, the top float creator in the nation, to costumed revelers and marching bands, the parade is a jubilant affair which grows more elaborate and exciting every year.
Halloween Horror Nights: Orlando, Florida and Hollywood, California
Running for over a month at both locations of Universal Studios, scare-fans can rejoice in a series of up to ten elaborate mazes straight from the creators of film sets, and often recreating storylines from well-known horror films. Live scare-actors are ready to jump out at riders on the theme park coaster lines and in the mazes, while Halloween themed food and drink appears throughout both parks.
WitchFest: Gardner Village, West Jordan, Utah
From the middle of September through October, Gardner Village holds a 45-day celebration with whimsical witch displays, a witch scavenger hunt, and even Witchapalooza Dinner Theater and Breakfast with a Witch. There’s a Magically Macabre Tribute to Edgar Allen Poe and Miraculum an Evening of Wonder at Mystique Dining and The Prestige: Parlour of Magic, village venues more than up for the Halloween theme. Witchy shoppers can enjoy dressing up while shopping and dining, as well as a costume parade on two October weekends dubbed Witches Night Out.
And there’s witch displays and witchy food fare from caramel apples, the Cackling Cantina and food trucks. Drawing thousands of would-be witches to the charming brick-lined paths of the village create the ultimate Halloween setting. Plus, there are over 30,000 pounds of pumpkins decorating the grounds. WitchFest has proudly won a Best of State award Utah’s best fair, festival and event. Now that’s a spooky treat! Learn more about WitchFest at Gardner Village.
Gardner Village is located in West Jordan and is home to locally-owned shops, restaurants, and beautiful event venues nestled around the historic Gardner Mill & Silo.