LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Main Street will be transformed into a haunted Halloween jubilee Friday night for its seventh annual Boo Fest.
This year's fest, which is expected to draw between 3,000 and 5,000 visitors, will feature a haunted house inside a fully enclosed tent with a ghoulish graveyard theme.
"On a scale of one to 10, (we) try to get it around five. We don't want it to be super frightening that no one wants to go in it, but we also don't want it to be lame," said Lori Basilone, director of community activities for Lakewood Ranch Community Activities.
A costume parade will kick off the event at 6:30 p.m. Anyone in costume is welcome to join the show, Basilone said. The drum and bugle chorus from Rowlett Magnet Elementary School will lead the parade.
Main Street merchants will give out candy from their storefronts for early trick or treating. And kids can reach into a closed coffin and feel brains and eye balls (aka cold spaghetti and grapes) among other slimy scraps at the "Touchy Feely" tables.
Scarecrows will line the road on lamp posts as part of the Scarecrow Contest for prizes including gift cards to Main Street restaurants. Registration is required for the parade and scarecrow contest. For a registration form, due Wednesday, or for more information, visit lakewoodranch.com and click "Events."
Sabrina Rocco, East Manatee reporter, can be reached at (941) 745-7024.