With all the sword brandishing buccaneers running around early this month (Oct 7-9) one might get the impression that October on Fort Myers Beach is all about pirates, but ghouls and goblins should not fret! For Halloween in Paradise is alive and well on Fort Myers Beach, as the following events will attest…
Family Fright Night and Haunted House
Bring the little ghouls for a howling good night of family fun at Bay Oak’s popular Fright Night, now celebrating it’s 26th anniversary with an extra ghoulish good time! The 26th annual Family Fright Night fun starts at 6pm on Friday, October 21rd when families begin arriving at the recreation center where the Beach School Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) provides drinks, pizza and snacks. Those hardy souls that are brave enough can then be entertained by the haunted house, built once again by the Fort Myers Beach Firefighters and filled with local pranksters just dying to have some devilish fun.
The fun continues with a costume contest at 7pm, with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes being awarded in seven age groups – including adults – so Mom and Dad can dress up, too, and maybe even embarrass their offspring in the process (because, really, what is more fun than that!). The prizes are nothing to shake a broomstick at, either – $50, $30 and $20 gift cards to places like movie theaters or Toys R Us depending on the age category.
And if that wasn’t enough, the crew at Bay Oaks also have 20 different games planned – along with everything from a haunted hayride to a coloring contest to a haunted walk filled with zombies! For $4 per person or $10 for a family of four, Fright Night is definitely where all the cool kids will be this Halloween season! Call 765-4222 for more information.
Beach Arts Cooperative Zombie Pub Crawl
Channel your dead alter ego and join a group of local artists and actors for a great night of zombie fun. After gathering at the Lighthouse Tiki Bar at 7pm, the undead will stumble to other downtown pubs looking for brains to eat and mayhem to be unleashed.
PAWsitively Amazing HOWL’oween Street Fair Extravaganza and Pet Parade
This event in its seventh year is the very definition of Fort Myers Beach. Combining the best of offerings from south island restaurants, an arts and crafts street fair and the quirkiest parade this side of Key West, the Extravaganza is nothing less than a colorful menagerie of fun.
Everything begins on Saturday, October 29th at 9am in Santini Marina Plaza on the south end of Fort Myers Beach. Stroll around and check out all the unique creations offered by more than 30 local artists and listen to live music by Colton James. The pet parade, led by the World Famous Clown Team of Jessie and Vinnie Titus with Kazoo Master Mark List in the lead, begins at 11am with registration from 10-10:30am and prizes and awards at noon. All event attendees and guests are invited to come by the DJ booth to cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award – there will be a voter/judge’s viewing from 10:30-10:45am at the DJ booth.
“We have three categories – best costumed pet, best costumed pet and owner and best decorated wagon/stroller and pet,” organizer Bonnie Roberts said. “Everyone always has such a great time with this and the dogs enjoy it, too. Santini Marina plaza aims to provide a fun family-friendly atmosphere filled with great costumes, vendors and delicious food and entertainment. Grab your pet (and their leashes) and come join us!”
Donations of pet food to benefit Find A Home, Give A Home pet rescue are welcome. For more information and/or to participate, call Bonnie at 239-443-8810.
Trunk or Treat
Bring all the young ghouls and goblins to this great family island tradition. From 6-9pm, the large parking area at Beach Baptist Church will be transformed into a Halloween wonderland, all free and open to the public. There will be a Bounce House, concessions, music and more. Check out all the colorfully decorated trunks and have a spooktacular good time!
For those readers who have grown up but still love Halloween, there’s fun for you this Halloween. Even if trick or treating is no longer an option, there are places on the island that are synonymous with Halloween. Dress up in style and get ready to party as The Cottage – now famous for all things Halloween – is hosting an event in honor of what is – for many of us – the best holiday of the season.
On Monday, October 31st, the Cottage will hold it’s 30th Annual Halloween Bash with ghoulish drink and dinner specials and their popular costume contest! Winners are announced at midnight with cash and gift certificate prizes for 1st and 2nd place individual and group winners.
Many more favorite hot spots will be hosting Halloween events and were working out the details at press time, so keep an eye on the Sand Paper to get the low down on everything ghoul.
Keri Hendry Weeg