Communities get in the Halloween spirit

A variety of Halloween-themed events, from haunted trails, mazes and houses to zombie proms and more, are planned to get families in the spirit of the holiday. (Pioneer file photos)

MECOSTA COUNTY — The time of year has come again when witches’ cackles and ghoulish laughter will mix with frightened screams as community members trek through various haunted houses, mazes and more.

Halloween is just around the corner, and while some people enjoy spending the holiday at home watching scary movies, there is a variety of events available for those who willing to venture out, whether for sweet treats or a night full of adrenaline.

Haunted Fish Hatchery

Attendees have a few days this year to weave through Paris Park Fish Hatchery, which Cadillac Kiwanis Club and Ferris State Circle K Club members have converted into a haunted spectacle.

The Haunted Fish Hatchery offers frights at a rate of $5 for the kid-friendly downstairs and $10 for both floors, with 10 percent of the proceeds going toward the Mecosta County Parks Commission for children’s programming. People looking for a scare at the hatchery can bring canned food for $1 off admission.

Scares will be available from 7 to 10:30 p.m., Oct. 20, 26 and 27, and from 6 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 31. The hatchery is located at 22090 Northland Drive, Paris.

Local celebrities compete in the 2017 Fall Festival pumpkin roll. This year, the pumpkin roll will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27.

Haunted Corn Maze

Just a few minutes outside of Big Rapids, the corn maze at Four Green Fields Farm offers a fun trip for children during the day and various spooks and specters for the brave souls visiting at night.

Open from noon to 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and 2 to 5 p.m. on Sundays through Oct. 28, people not so fond of being frightened can wind through the maze without worry. Admission is $3 per person, children age 5 and younger can enter for free and horse-drawn wagon rides are $2 per person.

After the sun sets, things get a little spooky at Four Green Fields Farm, located at 15693 Wilson Road, Rodney.

The haunted corn maze is open from 8 to 10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 27. Admission is $4 per person.

Haunted Trail

Another place for outdoor frights is the Morley Stanwood Band Booster Haunted Trail, which is open from 8 to 11 p.m. on Oct. 27, and from 8 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 31.

A kid-friendly haunted trail also will run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 31.

At its new location on W. Jefferson Road in Morley, just west of the Mecosta Pines Campground, people hoping to venture down the trail are encouraged to follow the signs to reach their destination. Admission is $5 per person

Haunted Park

For thrill-seekers living in Osceola County or who are willing to drive a little farther, Evart Little League offers a haunted park on the Saturday before Halloween in Riverside Park East.

From 7 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 27, attendees can loop around the park to encounter frightening things. According to events fliers, people entering the park should “be prepared to be scared.”

Admission is $5 per person and children age 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

Other Halloween-themed events throughout the area include:

• Spooky Monster Magic Show from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. on Oct. 25, at the Morton Township Library, 110 S. James St., Mecosta. Children are invited to wear costumes for this free event.

During last year’s Trunk-or-Treat in Big Rapids, children collected candy near St. Peter’s Lutheran School. Many opportunities to get sweet treats this year include the Fall Festival, Three Girls Bakery Monster Mash and more.

• The Big Rapids Fall Festival on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27, in downtown Big Rapids. Friday’s events include the annual chili cook-off from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the parking lot of the Big Rapids City Hall, 226 N. Michigan Ave., Big Rapids; free concert featuring the Balsam Brothers from 7 to 9 p.m.; Boos and Booze for adults visiting downtown bars from 7 to 9 p.m.; and Adult Costume Contest from 8 to 9 p.m. near City Hall. Saturday’s events include the Children, Parents and Pets Costume Parade from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.; Trunk-or-Treat from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the downtown area; and Celebrity Pumpkin Roll from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

• Teen Zombie Prom from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 26, at the Big Rapids Community Library, 426 S. Michigan Ave., Big Rapids. Food, music, dancing and prizes will be available at this teens-only event. Costumes are optional.

• Skeleton Skurry 5K Run, Walk and Roll from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 27, at Big Rapids City Hall. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and all proceeds go to the United Way.

• Three Girls Bakery Monster Mash from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m on Oct. 27, at Three Girls Bakery, 106 N. Michigan Ave, Big Rapids. Various contests and sweets will be available during this Halloween party.

• Halloween in the Park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 27, at G.T. Norman Elementary School, 338 W. Lincoln Ave., Reed City. Families attending will have the opportunity to support the community while having fun by donating to the Osceola County Animal Shelter.

• Phi Sigma Kappa Haunted House from 7 to 11 p.m. on Oct. 29, 30 and 31, at 118 Oak St., Big Rapids. Admission will be $5 per person, or $4 with a valid Ferris State University student ID. Proceeds from this event will go to Area 5 Special Olympics.

• Halloween Skate from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 30, at the Big Rapids Roller Rink, 325 N. Michigan Ave., Big Rapids. People in costume will receive free admission, though rentals will cost $2 for this event, which includes a costume contest and candy grab for children age 17 and younger.

• All-Ages Book Character Costume Contest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 31, at the Big Rapids Community Library. All it takes to enter is a photo of people dressed as their favorite book character. Winners will be announced on the library’s Facebook page.

• Deadlight Holiday CD Release and Halloween Party from 9 to 11 p.m. on Oct. 31, at Star Shooters, 120 S. Michigan Ave., Big Rapids. Originally from Big Rapids, the band Deadlight Holiday will be celebrating the release of their latest album with adults in the area.

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Posted by Meghan Gunther-Haas

Meghan is the education reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review. She can be reached at (231) 592-8382 or by email at mhaas@pioneergroup.com.

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