October 5, 2018

The top three giant pumpkins are lined up and readied for auctioning during the 2017 Pumpkin Festival. This year's festival runs Thursday through Sunday.

We’ve turned the calendar into October and that means from costume contests and haunted houses to celebrations of The Great Pumpkin, Halloween is just weeks away and we’re getting that spooky fun fall party started now.

Here’s a look at some Spooktacular ways to start diving into the most wonderful time of the year.

All hail The Great Pumpkin

Set for Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 4-7 at Milton’s West Virginia Pumpkin Park, the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival celebrates all things pumpkin from baking and cooking contests, to pumpkin food booths, contests and, of course, the giant pumpkin auction to raise money for scholarships (at 4 p.m. Sunday).

Head out to one of the Mountain State’s largest harvest festivals, as more than 50,000 folks will make the migration to the Mud River for the 80-acre fall frolic that is the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival.

Come out and enjoy pumpkin spice everything at the festival which runs 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4-7, at West Virginia’s Pumpkin Park, off James River Turnpike in Milton.

Admission is $8 on Thursday and Friday and $10 on Saturday and Sunday. Children five and under get in free. Parking is free and there’s a group rate.

Enjoy a wild range of entertainment including the Great Lakes Timber Show, Johnny Peers’ Muttville Comix (dog stunt show), Intrepid Helicopter Rides, puppets, and live music all weekend from such acts as Them Roten Boys, Mothman, The Dividends, Dangerous Cookies, Miles to Nowhere, The Sycamores and many more.

There’s also one of the largest arts and crafts selections in the region with more than 100 crafters, as well as food and business vendors, and a wide variety of demonstrations as area master craftsmen share their expertise in areas such as blacksmithing, pottery making, quilting and woodworking, a mountain men encampment, and lots of old-time demonstrations like sorghum making, and much more, along with many business booths.

Call 304-743-8774 for more information.


Head over to Camden Park for the 20th annual Spooktacular from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5-6 and then every Friday and Saturday in October. This special 20th anniversary edition of Spooktacular also expands into a Thursday-Saturday run on Oct. 18-20, and then a four-day run Wednesday, Oct. 24 through Saturday, Oct. 27.,

The family-run park is transformed into a fog-filled stomping ground for ghosts, ghouls and goblins featuring more than 20 rides and attractions, including its historic Haunted House gravity ride and the Haunted Train, as well as special haunted houses. There’s also a kid-friendly hay bale maze, as well as the nighttime fun of park favorites like the Big Dipper, the Whip, the Rattler and Slingshot.

The park will be tricked out for Halloween, and games and concessions as well as the arcade and restaurant will be open. Admission on Fridays is $16.99, and on Saturdays it’s S21.99. Area McDonald’s have discount coupons. Tickets are also available online at camden-park.com and at the gate.

The costume party starts now

Get your Halloween costume game in order early as the 15th annual Tsubasacon, the state’s oldest anime, manga and gaming convention, sets up shop at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena and Conference Center Friday through Sunday, Oct. 5-7.

In addition to a wealth of video games, a full service Pachinko parlor, table-top gaming and card tournaments, foam weapons tournament and special guests, there’s also a bunch of events for cosplayers to show off their incredible costumes.

Compete in a Cosplay Craftsmanship Contest, learn more about making your own costumes and props in some specialized workshops: Sewing for Cosplay, Prosthetic and special effects and Advanced tailoring for cosplay.

There’s also a School Idol Pajama Bash, a costumed tea, a Cosplay Masquerade (at 6 p.m. Saturday) and a formal Masquerade ball at 9 p.m. Saturday.

There’s also some holiday-related panels including “Terror Through Time: A History of Slasher Movies.”

Go online at www.Tsub-asacon.org to find out more about Tsubasacon.

First Fright-Day in Ashland

Ashland in Motion puts on the final First Friday street fair of 2018 with the Hallow-een-themed First Fright-Day from 5 p.m. to midnight Friday, Oct. 5 on Winchester Ave. between 14th St. and 18th St..

The event features live music performed by The Julie Reeves Band and Chocolate 4-Wheeler in the intersection of 15th St. and Winchester Ave, facing the First Friday Beer Garden. The downtown concert is free and open to the public. Music begins at 7 p.m. First Friday music is sponsored by Town Square Bank.

From 5 to 8 p.m. bring the kids dressed up to enjoy Downtown Trick-or-Treat, an edible Haunted House Contest inside the Camayo Arcade and appearances from the Sanderson Sisters and Binx the cat of the iconic Halloween movie “Hocus Pocus” sponsored by Ashland Vinyl, LLC and Melanie’s Bowtique.

There will also be inflatables ($5 per child), free crafts and activities hosted by First Presbyterian Church and Trunk-or-Treat hosted by First Baptist Church located on the 1700 block of Winchester Ave.

Other regular First Friday events include the classic car show (with parking starting at 3 p.m.). Classic cars are invited to embrace the event theme and participate in Trunk-or-Treat activities.

At 8 p.m. Friday, head over to the Central Park Bandstand at Ashland’s Central Park, where the nearby Boyd County Public Library, 1740 Central Ave, Ashland, continues its Pictures in the Park series.

For more information regarding First Friday opportunities and activities, contact director@ashlandinmotion.org/ or visit www.ashlanndinmo-tion.org/.

A double dose of you screams in l-town

Head over to the historic Ro-Na Theatre, 312 South Third St., Ironton, where Paul Smith, Dr. Dekay, and his minions have worked up a bunch of new haunts at Dr. Dekay’s House of Screams, which is now open every Friday and Saturday in October.

Hours are 7 p.m. to midnight for the haunted house which has been around since 2009. Cost is $10.

Everyone who enters is entered into a raffle for prizes.

Go online at http://www.doctordekayshouseofscreams.com/ for more info.

Located in the abandoned Ohio 75 tunnel at the junction of U.S. 52 and Ohio 92, The Haunted Tunnel is one of the Tri-State’s longest running haunts. The 24th annual Ironton Lions Club’s Haunted TUnnel starts at 7:30 p.m. every Friday and Saturday in October. All proceeds from the project go back into the community to fund scholarships, the club’s sight-saving mission, glasses for deserving youth and other civic activities. Admission is $5.

Festival of Fright

Head over to Nitro where they will be hosting the Festival of Fright at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5 and Saturday, Oct. 6.

At 5 p.m. Friday at the gazebo, there will be music by Red X, Robot Jurassic and The Renfields.

On Saturday, Oct. 6, Festival of Fright features a wide range of family friendly activities during the day from noon on. Activities will include live music, craft and food vendors, pumpkin carving and painting, and more.

At dusk, there will be The Trail of Terror open (S5 per person) and a showing of Drive-In horror flicks including “Goose-bumps,” “Return of the Living Dead,” and “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” at midnight.

Go online at https://www.facebook.com/visitnitro/ for more info about this and other Nitro events.

Hunger Fight 5 ‘Halloween Time’

From 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, the Eleanor Piggly Wiggly, located at 101 Roosevelt Blvd., Route 62 Eleanor Plaza, Eleanor, WVa., is hosting Hunger Fight a professional wrestling show.

Admission is free with a food donation. All donations are sent to Freedom’s Promise Ministries. The card (subject to change) includes Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, Joshua Charles, Stephania Cash, ECW legend Tracy Smothers, Chase Stevens, The Cuban Assassin, Dain Bramage, Amy Armstrong and several others.

A Not-So-Scary Costume Fashion Show

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, Kindness Saturday will be featuring free family activities including a Not-So-Scary Costume Fashion Show in Center Court at the Mall.

The Fashion Show will feature the Huntington Mall Fashion Advisory Board and guest models who will be showcasing fun costume ideas for the whole family from great stores like Spirit Halloween, the Disney store, JCPenney, and more.

Also, check out the Haunted Halloween Party at the Disney Store at the Mall, at 1,2 and 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6 and every Saturday in October. RSVP required to participate. Contact your local store. Event is for guests ages 3-12 and limited to 20 participants per event. Call 304-733-2944 or stop in the store to RSVP.

Haunted Parkersburg Ghost Tours

The Haunted Parkersburg Ghost Tours are one of the most popular ghost tours in the nation and take individuals through the quaint streets of downtown Parkersburg and recount its haunted history and famous paranormal tales. Guides will tell you supernatural stories unique to the area.

Tours are offered Friday and Saturday evenings now through November 4. Tours begin at 7:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Blennerhassett Hotel (corner of 4th and Market Streets) and takes approximately two hours (walk is two miles).

Go online at https://www.hauntedparkersburgtours.com.

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