Best bets: Oct. 18-24

October 18, 2012 



Twisted Woods Haunted House: DeSoto Square mall, 303 301 Blvd. W., Bradenton

Twisted Terror and Quarante, two great haunts under one roof. Twisted Woods focuses on phobias, and while they do not promote gore in their houses, you will definitely be up for a scare. Hours: Dusk to midnight Oct. 19-21, 26-31. Cost: $15. Information:

Tenth Annual National Goblin Gathering: G. T. Bray Park, 5502 33rd Ave. Dr. W., Bradenton

Bring the family out and join the Manatee County Parks and Recreation Department in celebrating its 10th annual Goblin Gathering in conjunction with National Night Out 6:30-9:30 p.m. Oct. 19. There will be a costume contest, face painting, hayrides, bounce houses, an 18-inch inflatable slide, and treats and sweets will be provided by several participating local businesses. A $5 wristband will be available for children to participate in activities. Parental participation is free. Information: 941-742-5923.

Twelfth annual Bayfest: City Pier Field and along Pine Avenue, Anna Maria

Come to the island's largest family music festival 5-10 p.m. Oct. 19 and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Oct. 20-21 featuring local island favorites, an island food court, live music from nine local bands, a kids zone, arts and crafts from local vendors and much more. Food and beverages are available for purchase. The event is open and free to the public. Information: 941-778-1541 or visit

"Spirit Voices of Old Manatee": Manatee Village Historical Park, 1404 Manatee Ave. E., Bradenton

The Manatee County Historical Commission and the Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller R.B. "Chips" Shore will host "Spirit Voices of Old Manatee," Oct. 19-20, a dramatic cemetery tour of the Old Manatee Burying Grounds featuring costumed thespians bringing to life those interred with haunting graveside dialogue. Due to the interactive nature of this event, all attendees will be required to sign a waiver at the gate, prior to admission, Audience space is limited. Advance tickets purchased by Oct. 10 are $10, all tickets purchased after that are $17. The event is not recommended for viewers ages 10 or younger. Everyone is required to have ticket, including children. Information on a full schedule of shows and tours: 941-749-1800 or visit

"Cars: A Standard Flower Show": Manatee River Garden Club, 3120 First Ave. W., Bradenton

The Manatee River Garden Club will host a Standard Flower Show 1-4 p.m. Oct. 19 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 20 featuring 48 floral designs competing in 12 classes for the National Garden Club top awards, and seven competitive sections in the horticultural division, combined with a special car show Saturday. The event is free and open to the public. Lunch is available for purchase. Information: 941-794-6402.


Hunsader Farms' 21st annual Pumpkin Festival: 5500 County Road 675, Bradenton

In addition to the greatest pumpkin selection in the region, entertainment includes the top bird act and a BMX bike stunt show, both from the popular TV program "America's Got Talent." Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 20-21, 27-28. There are also numerous other live music and variety acts, 100-plus craft booths, the charity pumpkin games, the pioneer trades village, hayrides, pony rides, chainsaw sculptor, corn maze, scarecrow displays, rock climbing wall, power jump, petting zoo, barnyard playground, face painting, children's train ride, a juggler, butterfly experience and the frog jumping championship. There are food vendors galore, too, including popular staples such as fresh produce, homemade ice cream, farm roasted sweet corn and, yes, pumpkin pie. Admission: $8; children age 12 and under are free. Parking is $5. Information: 941-322-2168 or

Halloween Social at Palmetto Historical Park: 515 10th Ave. W., Palmetto

Palmetto Historical Park and Manatee County Agricultural Museum will celebratE Halloween from 4:30-9 p.m. Oct. 20. There will be trick-or-treating, crafts, games, face painting, a tattoo parlor, fortune telling, and lots of other spooky happenings. There will be a costume contest sponsored by Palmetto Publix at 6:30 p.m. Test your skill at the Pirates-Marauders Speed Pitch, proceeds to benefit family programming in the park. Decorated buildings in the park will be sponsored by the Ellenton-Parrish Lions Club, the North River Kiwanis and the Manatee Riverside Rotary Club. Demetrio's will be selling $2 pizza and drinks and Alex's Lemonade Stand will be raising funds for childhood cancer research with baked goods and lemonade. This family event is free, donations accepted. For more information, call 941-721-2034.

Eighteenth Annual Downtown Sarasota Art and Craft Festival: along Main Street, Sarasota

The 18th Annual Downtown Sarasota Art and Craft Festival will be 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 21-21 featuring unique and affordable quality art and crafts by 150 local, regional and national leading artists and crafters offering a wide variety of art and craft media, including pottery, folk art, handmade jewelry, paintings, personalized gifts, handmade clothing, and scented soaps. There will be a Green Market offering plants, exotic orchids, gourmet spices, dips and freshly popped kettle corn. The event is free and open to the public. Information: 561-746-6615 or visit


The Powel Crosley Estate "House of Horrors": Powel Crosley Estate, One Seagate Dr., 8374 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

Explore the ghastly and ghoulish as the Crosley Estate Foundation presents the "House of Horrors," based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe 7-11 p.m. Oct. 23-25, 30-31, and Nov. 2-4. Revelers will have the opportunity to tour 13 rooms of Gothic gore, creep through the Crosley Cemetery and squirm through terrifying performances as the Master of the Macabre himself recounts his hauntingly horrible tales in the Coffinbox Theater. Enjoy poisons and potions as well as a few snacks to nourish your courage as a cast of spooks and spirits accompany you through the nightmares and dreams of this horrible haunt. Tickets: $10 adults, $8 students and seniors. Information: 941-729-0177, ext. 243 or visit

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