Family-Friendly Fall Events
On Friday, October 31 the community is invited to join Journey Church of Brandon located at 1310 John Moore Rd. in Brandon for its third annual Trunk or Treat event. Bring children, family and friends and enjoy free games, good, snow cones, a bounce house and face painting.
Pictures of the children and families in costume will be taken and e-mailed to guests for family to enjoy. Also back by popular demand is the annual donut eating contest. Call 597-6426.
Trunk Or Treat at South Shore United Methodist Church
South Shore United Methodist Church is getting into the Halloween spirit this year by offering car trunks full of candy decorated in zany Halloween scenes, popcorn and family-friendly movies, hay rides and more in a free and safe event where families can enjoy the festive decorations in the car trunks, trick-or-treat and get into the Halloween spirit.
This is an event that the whole community can enjoy.
Trunk or Treat will take place on Halloween Night, Friday, October 31, from 6-8:30 p.m. Bring friends, family and neighbors.
South Shore United Methodist Church is located at 11525 Big Bend Rd. in Riverview. Visit www.southshoreumc.com.
CLOWN AROUND at Kings Avenue Baptist Church
Kings Avenue Baptist Church will hold CLOWN AROUND on Friday, October 31 from 6:30-8 p.m. This is for pre-school children through the sixth grade. There will be inside games, candy, costume prizes, face painting and more. Admission is one bag of wrapped candy. The church asks no ghosts, goblins or other scary costumes. Kings Avenue Baptist Church is located at 2602 S Kings Ave. in Brandon. Visit www.kingsavenue.org.
Sunset Bay Chapel Trunk or Treat And Fall Festival
Sunset Bay Chapel is hosting its second Annual Community Trunk or Treat on Friday, October 31 from 6-8 p.m. Bring the family and enjoy the imaginative trunk themes and crazy creations while the kids collect treats. Individuals interested in decorating their own vehicle and passing out candy, register a vehicle for free at www.sunsetbaychapel.com. A section of the parking lot will be blocked off for event participants only. Sunset Bay Chapel is located at 6026 Churchside Dr. in Lithia.
Noah’s Arkade Fall Festival
First Baptist Church of Brandon will hold its annual Fall Festival, Noah’s Arkade, on Friday, October 31. Admission is free and open to the community. It asks guests to bring one bag of soft, wrapped candy per child. Attendees will find games, food, candy, music and more. Hamburgers, hot dogs, sodas and other items will be available for a nominal charge. No scary makeup or costumes allowed. Food vendors will open at 5 p.m. and game booths will open at 6:30 p.m. First Baptist Church of Brandon is located at 216 N. Parsons Ave., just one block north of Brandon Blvd. Call 689-1204.
Fall Festival at First United Methodist Church of Brandon
A Fall Festival will take place Sunday, October 26 from 5-7 p.m. all over campus at First United Methodist Church of Brandon, located at 121 N Knights Ave.
Schoolchildren and their families are invited. Last year, an estimated 1,500 people attended.
Trunk n’ Treat runs from 5-6:45 p.m. and will feature a parade of children. There will be tattoos and face painting, a cake walk, hay rides, giant inflatables, hot dogs, and more, and it is free. It will have a Prayer Wall in conjunction with the Hispanic congregation to pray with those in attendance. And new this year, it will host an engaging Family Worship Experience at 7 p.m. Call 689-4161.
Light Up The Night Festival
River of Life Christian Center’s Light Up The Night festival will be held on Friday, October 31 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. There will be games, inflatables, dodge ball and laser tag. There will also be food trucks and the Kona Ice Sno Cone truck. The event and activities are free; food is available for purchase. Costumes are welcome, but guests are asked to leave the monsters and zombies at home. It is located at 6605 Krycul Ave. in Riverview. Call 677-4453.
Autumn means it is time for Immanuel Lutheran School’s (ILS) Oktoberfest. The event is Saturday, October 18, from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. at 2913 John Moore Rd. in Brandon. Oktoberfest includes carnival-style games, bouncy houses, a petting zoo, pony rides, a mechanical bull ride, a kiddie train, a costume contest, a pie-eating contest, a vendor showcase, German food, bake sale, live entertainment and more with no entry fee. Tickets for games and attractions are available at the door or in advance at a discount in the school office or from any ILS student starting Thursday, October 2. Call 685-1978 or visit www.ilsbrandon.com.
Annual Halloween Horribles Parade Provides Family Friendly Trick-Or-Treating
By Kathy L. Collins
Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association (Center Place) has issued a call to all goblins, witches, ghosts, princesses and superheroes in the greater Brandon area to attend the 17th Annual Halloween Horribles Parade. This family friendly event is set to take place on Sunday, October 26 from 3-5 p.m. at Center Place located at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon.
The 17th Annual Halloween Horribles Parade is for children ages 3 to 10. All children must be accompanied by an adult. The event is free but every child needs a ticket. The tickets will be available at Center Place beginning on Wednesday, October 1.
The parade line up begins at 2:30 p.m. on the Center Place deck area. The parade route travels from Center Place down South Parsons Ave., past Brandon Regional Hospital and then back up Vonderburg Dr. and ends at Center Place.
The parade route is lined with vendors from the area’s finest businesses and civic organizations who will have Halloween treats available for all of the costumed children.
“The Halloween Horribles Parade has become a tradition here in Brandon for a fun and safe trick-or-treat event. We have 1,000 children, along with their parents, come out dressed in their Halloween costumes and walk the parade route. Even the adults dress in costume and have a great time at this annual event,” said Dawn Galia, Executive Director of Center Place. “We really appreciate all of the local businesses, civic and service organizations who provide the trick-or-treat stations for the parade route. If there is a new business that wants to participate, all they need to do is call us at Center Place at 685-8888.
Center Place was created by the community in 1976 to provide a central venue that would allow for the promotion of the arts in Eastern Hillsborough County. Center Place is a non-profit organization. It offers cultural enrichment opportunities for all ages through a variety of programs including original art exhibitions, education and the performance of art. In addition, Center Place hosts events such as Halloween Horribles.
For more information, visit www.centerplacebrandon.org or call 685-8888.
By Kathy L. Collins
The Brandon Ballet’s Artistic Director, Octavio Martin, invites the public to come see the ageless classic Dracula, on Sunday, October 19 at 5 p.m. at Centro Asturiano de Tampa located at 1913 N. Nebraska Ave. in Tampa (Ybor City). This spooktacular is great for families but it is not recommended for children under seven. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children ages 18 and under and $15 for seniors 55 and older.
The Brandon Ballet’s Dracula is based on Bram Stoker’s 1897 Gothic horror novel. Dracula tells the story of Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing. While Stoker did not invent the vampire, he defined its modern form, and the novel has been the footprint for various theatrical, film and television interpretations.
Martin said, “This performance of Dracula is a completely new version and is more family friendly. The community is more than welcome to dress up and see the show in costume. In fact, we encourage it. We are doing our very best to not only entertain, but provide the opportunity for a festive and fun evening.”
Centro Asturiano de Tampa is a fantastic venue. Martin said, “We really enjoyed the experience of dancing in the Centro Asturiano de Tampa in the past during my first year as artistic director of Brandon Ballet. It is a beautiful vintage theater that is more intimate, and the history and beauty of it provides the perfect ambiance for Dracula.”
The Brandon Ballet was founded in 1993. It is a non-profit regional ballet company that develops and promotes opportunities for aspiring young dancers. The Brandon Ballet strives to make the performing arts accessible to the community.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.tututix.com/brandonballet or call 684-4282.
By Janet Aversa
This Hillsborough County Fair is back and this year it is adding even more fun. The fair will run Thursday, October 23 through Sunday, October 26 and Thursday, October 30 through Saturday, November 1
“We are adding special events to the competitions this year at the October fair and they hold promise to entertain and thrill the fairgoers of all ages,” said Hillsborough County Fair Manager Tom Umiker. “The popular Ranch Rodeo is back in the 1,800-seat arena Friday and Saturday nights, October 24 and 25. Sunday, October 26 at 3 p.m. we will be introducing the Mexican Bull Riding Rodeo. Friday evening October 31 features Bulls & Barrels with contestants from all across Florida and the southeastern U.S., featuring the thrill of Rodeo Bull Riding coupled with the speed of the girls Barrel Racing.”
The Firefighter Training Show is not only entertaining but educational as well. Participants are chosen from the audience, donned with firefighter gear, and invited to participate in a “smoke-eater’s” competition. At the conclusion of the show, younger members of the audience are given the opportunity to crawl through the firehouse smoke and learn valuable tips on fire safety for the entire family.
“Saturday evening, November 1 marks a first for the County Fairgrounds,” said Umiker. “Smoke will be bellowing and dirt will be flying with the first annual Truck and Tractor Pull. Modified tractors and 4 x 4 Trucks will compete for prizes. The fair concludes special events in the arena with a Demolition Derby on Sunday afternoon November 2. All local participants crash and smash until the last car moving wins. Demolition Derbies have been a staple for years at fairs up north. The Hillsborough County Fair is proud to be one of the few fairs in Florida to present this true down home entertainment.”
Don’t forget Hayrides, Round Bale Decorating, Children’s Pageant, Harvest Awards, Swine Sale, Fine Arts Show, Photography Show, Family Living, Recycled Yard Art Contest, Talent Showcase, Hometown Hillsborough, and fair food including funnel cakes and BBQ, corn dogs and roasted corn, and the Rotary Chili Cook-off. The Youth Horse Show, Bay Area Bandits Shooting Match and the Midway Rides complete the full fair venue.
Fairgoers can buy an arena ticket in advance for $10 which includes entrance for the fair on that event day at no charge, a savings of up to $7. For more information, visit www.hillsboroughcountyfair.com, call 737-3247 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The fair entrance is located at 215 Sydney Washer Rd. in Dover.
By Kathy L. Collins
Fall in Florida is a great time for outdoor activities, including the Futch Family’s Fox Squirrel Corn Maze in Plant City. The third annual fall festival event at the Single R Ranch, located at 3002 Charlie Taylor Rd. in Plant City, will take place from Friday, October 3 through Sunday, October 26 on Saturdays and Sundays. The gates open at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Guests are asked to exit the maze by 7 p.m. Fridays are reserved for pre-arranged groups and field trips.
The Futch family spends all year preparing their five acre corn maze for this family friendly event. The Single R Ranch is a working cattle ranch that has been in the Futch family since the 1920s.
Janet Futch said, “The Fox Squirrel Corn Maze is such a great way to kick off the fall season in Florida with family and folks of all ages. It’s a fun filled day in the maze, going on a hayride and playing games on the Single R Ranch. The beautiful oaks make a great spot to just sit back, relax and enjoy what nature has to offer. Our family is excited to welcome you to our little slice of heaven.”
Futch said, “We also have lots of beautiful pumpkins to choose from, lots of games to play such as old fashioned horseshoes, badminton, volleyball, duck races, rope-a-steer, corn boxes, a playground set and more.”
Kids will love the balloon artist and pumpkin painting, and adults will love the honey, jams, jellies, boiled peanuts and kettle corn. Food vendors will offer delectable delights such as lemonade, snocones, hamburgers and fried pickles.
And if that is not enough, a tractor pulled hayride offers a glimpse of wild turkey, deer, cattle, raccoons and even the namesake of the maze, the ever frisky Sherman, the fox squirrel.
Admission is $10 plus tax for adults, $9 plus tax for youth (3 to 17 years old) and kids age 2 and under are free. Group rates are available. Cash, Mastercard and Visa are accepted for admission, but vendors accept cash only.
For more information and to arrange for group trips, e-mail futchentertain email@example.com and visit www.foxsquirrelcornmaze.com.
Howl-O-Scream 2014 returns to Busch Gardens Tampa with tormenting surprises and unexpected terrors around every corner, including the events newest haunted house, Dead Fall. Inside Dead Fall, the ghosts of long lost memories reach into the present and will not be forgotten. These spirits from the past lurk in the shadows of this Victorian garden and greenhouse, longing to drag unsuspecting guests into their world. Visitors will have to try to escape before becoming a permanent resident of Dead Fall.
In 2013, Busch Gardens included their Facebook fans in planning Howl-O-Screams new haunted house, Death Water Bayou. Fans chose three key elements of the house, and then saw their vote come to life when they visited the event. Back by popular demand, fans once again had the opportunity to vote on three key elements of Dead Fall, including the name of the estate, a murder tool one of the residents fell victim to, and the name of one of Dead Fall’s residents.
Voting started in August on the Howl-O-Scream Facebook page and took place in a series of three Facebook polls over the course of three weeks.
Freaky Preview is back to open Howl-O-Scream 2014 on Friday, September 26 and Saturday, September 27. The event then runs Thursday through Saturday nights, October 2-November 1. Howl-O-Scream will also be open on Sunday, October 19. Operating hours are 7:30 p.m.-1 a.m.
Get tickets early and save on a single terrifying night at Howl-O-Scream 2014. For a limited time, any single-day admission to Howl-O-Scream 2014 is $47. There’s safety in numbers, so a guest and three friends can also save on a pack of four or more tickets to Howl-O-Scream 2014 on Thursdays, starting at $35 per person. Busch Gardens Tampa pass members can take advantage of their limited time exclusive discount on any single-night admission to Howl-O-Scream 2014 for only $42.
Stay tuned to HowlOScream.com for the latest terrifying details. Howl-O-Scream 2014 is a separate ticketed night event. No costumes are allowed. For guest information, visit HowlOScream.com or call 1-888-800-5447. For more updates and pictures, follow Howl-O-Scream on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HowlOScream and Instagram with the handle @howlo scream.
Howl-O-Scream is intended for a mature audience. This year’s event contains intense adult content such as violence, gore and blood.