Well, hello October! With your elusive coolness that we’re all yearning to feel, we’re so glad to see you! With October comes a special excitement in the air. Seeing the leaves change, (in pictures), needing a jacket, thinking of pumpkin pies and football, watching the days grow shorter while discussing costume options. Aah, what fun! So, we’re in love with you, October, because you’re like a good friend who always brings the fun and is usually pretty cool.
It is estimated that in the month of October consumers will spend well over $7 billion on decorations, costumes and candy. Do people like Halloween or what? It seems that everyone in the household gets a costume now, including the pets. And of that staggering amount spent, almost $2 billion will go toward candy. Hmm, I’d like to see the dental statistics that follow Halloween. And it’s not just Halloween itself, people go crazy all month long over the holiday décor, with hay bales, witch brooms, cinnamon sticks, mechanical monsters, etc., etc. Halloween is the new Christmas when it comes to decorating.
And we just love all of the hoopla. Because let’s face it; if it smells like a pumpkin, looks like a pumpkin, and tastes like a pumpkin…it’s fall. It’s time to get outdoors again and take advantage of the beautiful weather and the great events happening in our area. While our Northern friends are considering winterizing their homes and getting their snow gear ready, we’re about to head into our best weather of the year. We’re glad you’re back, October!
Here’s a breakdown of some of the Pumpkin Festivals, Oktoberfests and other outdoor family-oriented events happening in our area to get you into fall’s groove:
October 9-11: Oktoberfest activities at Motorworks Brewing in Bradenton, featuring food trucks, craft beers and fun contests like stein holding and lederhosen, along with a yodeling competition. Additional dates throughout October.
October 10-11: 24th Annual Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival featuring 100+ craft booths, live music, scarecrow displays, chainsaw sculptures, hayrides, pony rides, petting zoo, frog jumping championships, kids train ride, rock climbing wall, corn maze and more. This event will also be held on additional weekends in October.
October 10-11: 7th Annual Fruitville Grove Pumpkin Fest featuring pony rides, hayrides, festival food, pumpkin painting, giant rock wall, bungee jump, mini train ride, games and a hay play area. Additional dates for this event are also scheduled throughout October.
October 17: 2nd Annual Ghost 5K Run and Poker Walk. This is a Halloween-themed event featuring a 5K run, Children’s Fun Run, Poker Run and more. The festivities take place in Bradenton, on Old Main Street.
October 23-25: 7th Annual Sarasota Pumpkin Festival at Payne Park, featuring hayrides, carnival games and rides, festival food, petting zoo, pumpkin patch, trick-or-treating and a beer garden.
October 24-25: The 5K Zombie Run and The 5K Color Blast Run. Both of these are family-friendly fun runs and will be held at Nathan Benderson Park.
October 24-25: 21st Annual Downtown Sarasota Art & Craft Festival. Event features a vast array of arts and craft including pottery, paintings, jewelry, basket weaving, cards, mosaics and more. A Green Market will also be operating. Art and Craft vendors will line up along Five Points Park and Central Avenue.
October 31: Selby Spooktacular at Selby Gardens, featuring trick-or-treating, pumpkin decorating, face painting photo booth, and an obstacle course. Attendees invited to arrive in costume.
October 31: Siesta Key Village trick-or-treating. Join your neighbors and friends for safe trick-or-treating. Participating members will display orange and black balloons and pumpkin flyers in their windows.
October 31: Friday Night on St. Armand’s for festivities including trick-or-treating around the circle, where participating merchants will display haunted storefronts.
Photos: Oktoberfest 2013 courtesy of Club Transatlantico on Flickr, Commercial use allowed, Halloween Pumpkin Contest courtesy of Amella Extra on Flickr, Commercial use allowed, Fall is Here courtesy of JerPhotography on Flickr, Commercial use allowed