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Tricks ‘n’ treats for all ages, for a properly Halloweeny weekend

Bill DeYoung



Image: Unsplash.

In no particular order, here are 10 scare-a-thons, fright fests and there’s-fun-to-be-had fun times for this Halloween weekend, running the gamut from kiddie events to movies to grown-up parties … for the young, the young at heart … and even the faint at heart.

A whopping 22 blocks of Central Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic Sunday for Halloween on Central, a joint effort between Car-Free St. Pete and the City of St. Petersburg.

It’s all happening between MLK Jr. St and 31st Street, in the Edge and Grand Central Districts, from noon to 5 p.m. rain or shine.

Costumes are encouraged at the family-friendly event, which includes numerous businesses dressed as haunted houses, plus live music and other entertainment (Thrill St. Pete doing its “Thriller” dance, among other things), vendor markets, Halloween parades, a bike ride, costume contest and other activities.

And yes, trick-or-treating for the little ones and their families.

Check here for specifics on the cornucopia of activities.


Phantasmagoria – at the Tampa Theatre tonight. Publicity photo.

It’s fever pitch time for the Tampa Theatre’s ongoing Halloween-season event A Nightmare on Franklin Street (festivities began on the 16th). Tonight it’s the Orlando-based theater troupe Phantasmagoria live onstage with a program of dance, stage combat and “danger arts,” with puppetry, projections and storytelling combined for “whimsically macabre horror.”

Their show is called Dark Carnival, and according to the group, it ranges “from 19th-century Penny Dreadfuls, ancient mythological creatures and Edgar Allan Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher to French vampire tales, haunted poetry, and original tales” of spirit and spook.

Sunday, Tampa Theatre has a trio of squeamish screeners: Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922) at 2 p.m. (it’s a silent film, presented with live organ music), Shadow of a Vampire (the 2000 film with Willem Dafoe about the making of Nosferatu) at 5 p.m., and John Carpenter’s Halloween (the 1978 original) at 8:30 p.m.

Tampa Theatre website.

“Young Frankenstein.” Warner Bros.

Not to be outdone, St. Pete’s own Greenlight Cinema is screening Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein today, Saturday and Sunday.


Owl O Ween, 6-9 p.m. today at McGough Nature Park in Largo, seems as if it’s just right for younger kids … spooky trail walks, stories by the campfire, crafts and games. Pre-registration is required (call 727-518-3047).


Wordier Than Thou’s Halloween literary tour, Read No More, returns today (6-9 p.m.) after taking 2020 off (because, you know). “We’ll explore St. Petersburg and Florida legends and lore as we take you on a bookishly haunted tour” is the pitch – and the exact starting point, in South St. Pete, is only revealed once your ticket is purchased. Check here.


At the Palladium Theater, A Little Hocus Pocus (3 p.m. Sunday) brings in three area drag performers in an interactive interpretation of the campy 1993 film Hocus Pocus, about a trio of loopy sister-witches. Tickets here.


The St. Petersburg Department of Parks and Recreation has turned out the lights (well, figuratively) at the Pinellas Pioneer Settlement, 3010 31st Street South (at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve) for the 15th annual Field of Screams event. At the “Carnival of Chaos,” visitors traverse a haunted midway and fun house, and there are dark things in the woods. All in good fun, of course. It’s open Friday through Monday, 7 p.m. – midnight. Tickets and info here.


NovaWeen 15: Time Machine, starting at 9 p.m. Saturday at the ghoulishly groovy event space Nova 535, is Michal Scott Novilla’s annual “be there or be scared” costume bash for adults, this time with aerialists, fire shows, go-go dancers, a live DJ, food and drink, et cetera. Read more about it in this story.


At Stageworks Theatre (Tampa) Evil Dead The Musical – complete with a bloody “splash zone” in the front row – has shows tonight and Saturday, and a Sunday afternoon matinee. Here you go.


La Lucha, that triple-threat jazz group, loves putting live music to scenes from Dr. Paul Bearer used to call “horrible old movies.” There’s a mini-version of the traditional La LuchaWeen this year – at 8 p.m. Saturday John, Mark and Alejandro will livestream three classic scare scenes (from silent pictures) n the group Facebook page – that’s right, absolutely free for your viewing and listening pleasure. And Conjuring star Eugenie Bondurant will host.

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