By Megan Knowles
From dance shows and zombie parades to corn mazes and lots of candy, our region is ready for fall and October’s highlight holiday, Halloween.
Fright Night downtown will return for its 10th year Friday, Oct. 21. Events include a pumpkin zone at the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, a trunk-or-treat soiree at the Central Branch YMCA parking lot, several zombie-theme events at the Allen County Public Library, lantern tours of the Old Fort and a variety of performances throughout the day.
One of those performances is the Fort Wayne Dance Collective’s annual Halloween show, this year called “Hotel Hysteria.”
“ ‘Hotel Hysteria’ is a little bit immersive and is meant to make the audience feel like guests of a hotel,” Artistic Director Mandie Kolkman said. “There are different rooms and there is a theme that is carried throughout the entire show. The audience will also get to see a little bit about the other guests at the hotel.”
Each new room provides a different piece of dance, Executive Director Elise Alabbas said, with styles ranging from ballet to modern and hip-hop.
In addition to the Fort Wayne Dance Collective’s touring company and its youth Pineapple group, the show will also feature artists from the Mikautadze Dance Theatre, Project Ballet and Fort Wayne Ballet.
Though the Fort Wayne Dance Collective has been having a Halloween show for several years — in fact, they’ve been featured in Dance Studio magazine for their work — this year’s performance will be a little different.
“It comes from exploration in the past year of projection mixed with dance,” Kolkman said, adding they have done shows at the Parkview Physicians Group ArtsLab and IPFW involving projections.
Because of the growth of the show, this year’s performances have been moved to the Arts United Center’s ArtsLab, which Kolkman described as “a black box theater with four walls that surround you.”
“Having the theme of a hotel allows us to play with elevators and rooms,” she said. “We thought about the technical elements first, what we could do with the space, and then worked backward.”
The shows will take place Oct. 20 and 21 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at fwdc.org.
Other Halloween and autumn events include:
Trick-or-Treat @ Georgetown, Georgetown Square, 6310 E. State Blvd., Fort Wayne. Tuesday evening, Oct. 31, 5:30-7 p.m. Featuring a live band in front of Jeff’s Coney, Surface DJ’s by Biggby Coffee playing music and announcing costume contest winners. All businesses are asked to pass out candy to the many trick-or-treaters that will make their way around the shopping center.
Pumpkin Patch, Good Shepherd UMC Church, 4700 Vance Ave., Fort Wayne. Oct. 13-29, selling many sizes of pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks and Indian corn. Proceeds benefit Shepherd’s House in Fort Wayne and Madina School in Sierra Leone, Africa. Special events include Spooky Night in the Patch on Oct. 13; Ziffles food truck from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 15; the Fall Festival, Oct. 22, 10:30 a.m.-2p.m., with inflatables, carny games, chili cook-off and more; and a model train display in church Oct. 29 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Patch hours vary by day. Call the church at (260) 483-8816 for more information.
Hysterium haunted house, 4410 Arden Drive, Fort Wayne: Open every Friday and Saturday through Oct. 28 from 7 p.m. to midnight as well as Thursdays Oct. 19 and 26, Sundays Oct. 22 and 29 and Oct. 30-31 from 7-9:30 p.m. Also open Nov. 3-4 for a special event, “Blackout,” from 7-9:30 p.m. Recommended for ages 10 and older, according to their website, hysterium.com. The cost is $13 or $20 for a fast pass.
Byron Health Center, 1201 Lima Road, Fort Wayne: From 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, Trunk-O-Treat will combine cars, candy and costumes. The event will be held rain or shine and is free of charge. Byron staff and family along with special guests, the Fort Wayne Corvette Club and the Eel River Elementary School PTA, are expected to bring trick-or-treaters out a bit early to enjoy some pre-Halloween Trunk-O-Treat among parked cars with decorated trunks and an abundance of candy.
Kuehnert Dairy Farm and Fall Festival, 6532 W. Cook Road, Fort Wayne: Every weekend through Oct. 22, families can visit the Kuehnert Dairy Farm for educational and fun activities. Guests can see the dairy farm in action, explore the 5-acre corn maze, paint pumpkins, play on the new jump pad and more. Hours are 6-10 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. Sundays. General admission is $8 per person, though children 2 and younger are admitted free. For more information visit facebook.com/Kuehnertdairyfarm.
The St. Vincent Boy Scouts Haunted Castle and Black Forest, 8965 Auburn Road, Fort Wayne: Returning for its 37th year, this annual haunted forest and house is a local favorite. This year’s remaining dates are: Thursday-Sunday through Oct. 29; and Oct. 31. The castle opens at 7 p.m. and the forest opens at dark. The castle and forest close at 11 p.m. Tickets are $10 for one haunt, $16 for both and guests can receive $1 off regular admission by bringing a nonperishable or paper item for the St. Vincent food pantry. For more information visit hauntedcastle.com.
Wild Zoo Halloween, 3411 Sherman Blvd., Fort Wayne: This “merry-not-scary” event returns to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 13-15, 19-22 and 27-29. Children can wear costumes and see the zoo’s animals while they participate in activities including exploring the Treat Trails, meeting Broomhilda the Witch and picking miniature pumpkins. More information and tickets can be found at //kidszoo.org/event/wild-zoo-halloween-2-2015-10-17/2017-10-13/.
Halloween Pet Parade, 3411 Sherman Blvd., Fort Wayne: The City of Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control will host its 9th annual Halloween Pet Parade at Franke Park Pavilion 1 on Saturday, Oct. 21, noon-3 p.m. There are several costume categories including best homemade costume, best animal duo, best themed group of three or more, best movie or storybook character, best celebrity, best food or drink theme, best animal/human duo and best Halloween theme. For more information visit facebook.com/HalloweenPetParade.
Spook-A-Palooza, Spiece Fieldhouse, 5310 Merchandise Drive, Fort Wayne: The Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau will host Spook-A-Palooza from 3-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. This indoor trunk-or-treat type event will include visits from local team and school mascots along with games, raffle prizes and candy. Family-friendly businesses will hand out candy and host various games. Admission is free. King Arthur’s Trolley will be on site selling food.
Trunk-or-Treat, Cornerstone Youth Center, 19819 Monroeville Road, Monroeville. The fifth annual celebration is planned for 6-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, in the Cornerstone parking lot and gym. Besides candy for the children, Trunk-or-Treat will feature games, prizes and free hot dogs, popcorn and drinks. There is no cost for children wanting to participate, but free-will donations will be accepted.
Cinema Center: In addition to the events taking place as part of Fright Night, The Cinema Center will show Dario Argento’s “Suspiria” at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27. On Oct. 28 a George Romero Tribute Night will take place. At 6:30 “Creepshow” will be screening, at 9 p.m. “Night of the Living Dead” will play and at 11 p.m. “Suspiria” will play again. Tickets for regular showings are $9 for general admission, $7.50 for seniors and students, $5 for Cinema Center members and $4 for senior Cinema Center members. Matinee shows before 5 p.m. on weekdays are $7 general admission, $5.50 for seniors and students, $3 for Cinema Center members and $2 for senior Cinema Center members. For more information visit cinemacenter.org.
Trick or treat: Trick or treat in the city of Fort Wayne will take place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31. The Fort Wayne Police Department reminds trick-or-treaters to:
Only visit homes with an illuminated exterior front or porch light,
Wear reflective or light-colored clothing,
Travel in groups,
Have a pre-planned route,
Only cross streets at crosswalks,
Visit familiar homes and not to enter strangers’ homes, and
Be prepared for adverse weather.
The Fort Wayne Police Department also reminds trick-or-treaters not to wear costumes that obscure their vision and not to eat any candy until it is inspected by an adult.