Can your scarecrow scare a crowd?

It’s your chance to be creative, scare some kids and win some cash! Once again, it’s time for the Annual Scarecrow Festival & Contest in downtown West Palm Beach which is Saturday, Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. You’re welcome.

This spooky and interactive festival, presented by the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, brings large crowds of local businesses, schools, families and community groups. So far, the Facebook event has 2.1k people interested in attending, and 200 confirmed for attending. And why wouldn’t you go? The cash prizes include the People’s Choice $300 prize, 1st place $200 prize, and 2nd place $100 prize.

Sawyer Smith, 2, of West Palm Beach, gets a high five from Curator of Education Tony Marconi during the Historical Society of Palm Beach County Scarecrow Festival and Contest in West Palm Beach on October 25, 2014. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Sawyer Smith, 2, of West Palm Beach, gets a high five from Curator of Education Tony Marconi during the Historical Society of Palm Beach County Scarecrow Festival and Contest in West Palm Beach on October 25, 2014. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

In addition to the scarecrow competition, this event will have plenty of family fall favorites like pumpkin decorating, a haystack hunt, museum tours, face painting, and plenty of music and food.

Related: Check out other Halloween events happening this fall

The 2014 winning Youth category scarecrow, featuring a “Frozen” theme, was made by students from Palm Beach Public Elementary. Representing the school are (from left) Layla Chong, Karina Chong, art teacher Jenn Petti and her daugher Kendall Petti, Juliana LaPapa and Angela Frankland.
The 2014 winning Youth category scarecrow, featuring a “Frozen” theme, was made by students from Palm Beach Public Elementary.

 If you attend events primarily for the food and drinks, this one is no exception. According to the event, this year’s agriculture booths will be better than ever, with a lot more organic foods to choose from. And, for those with a sweet tooth, bring some extra cash to buy all kinds of baked goodies. Did I mention there’s also a pie eating contest? 

Friends Parker Pressly, 7, left, and Georgina Keogh, 8, of Palm Beach, start the pie eating contest during the Historical Society of Palm Beach County Scarecrow Festival and Contest in West Palm Beach on October 25, 2014. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Friends Parker Pressly, 7, left, and Georgina Keogh, 8, of Palm Beach, start the pie eating contest during the Historical Society of Palm Beach County Scarecrow Festival and Contest in West Palm Beach on October 25, 2014. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

Important: The deadline to enter the scarecrow contest is Thursday, Oct. 19, 2016. Entry forms are available online at hspbc.org or http://bit.ly/2auwgcJ.

The Details:

When: 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016.

Where: The Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum. 300 N. Dixie Highway. West Palm Beach, Fl. 33401. Free event parking on 4th street

Contact: For ticket and group tickets: 561-832-4164, ext. 103 or www.historicalsocietypbc.org.

Cost: $10 per person (kids under 3 free). All inclusive Available at the door and in advance at www.hspbc.org

 

Halloween Horror Nights: killers, ghouls and one very scary little girl

the-exorcist
The face of ‘The Exorcist’s little possessed girl Regan (Linda Blair). who haunted my dreams for years as a kid. (Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort.)

ORLANDO — When the leaves turn brown and begin to fall, when the weather starts getting a tad nippier at night, when the NFL season is in full swing, that only means one thing….it’s time to get the living heck scared out of you at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort.

Yes, the 26th annual frightfest returns Friday, running on select nights through Oct. 31 with nine haunted houses, including those featuring Leatherface, the chainsaw-loving homicidal maniac from “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre;” Michael Myers, the knife-wielding, slow-walking killer from, oh, 68 “Halloween”  films; the bloodthirsty zombies from AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and, the one I’m looking forward to most, the pea soup-spewing, head-spinning demonic little girl from “The Exorcist” – still the scariest movie ever made.

If that’s not enough, look for more chills and thrills inside “American Horror Story,” FX’s wildly popular anthology, but ridiculously violent, series and “Krampus,” a horned creature who punishes children at Christmastime. Gives new meaning to the “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” lyrics, “You better watch out/You better not cry/You better not pout/I’m telling you why,” doesn’t it?

Also look for five scare zones and two live shows.

Anyone who really knows me, knows Halloween Horror Nights is one of my favorite events of the year. I moved to Florida from New York in 1996 with my family and I’ve been to every HHN since.

What I looked like before venturing inside Michael Myers' house at Halloween Horror Nights two years ago.
What I looked like before venturing inside Michael Myers’ house at Halloween Horror Nights two years ago.

Two years ago was one of my favorites as I stood toe-to-toe with Michael Myers, wondering if I was going to make it out of his Haddonfield, Ill., house alive. OK, so I wasn’t really wondering that since this is all make-believe stuff, but, hey, work with me here.

This year, I’m psyched about “The Exorcist,” a movie that haunted my dreams for months after seeing it as an 11-year-old kid when the film premiered in 1973. I wasn’t alone. Moviegoers were reported fainting in theaters. I wasn’t that bad. I just covered my eyes a lot. If I had another set of hands, I would’ve covered my ears while little girl Regan (Linda Blair) was speaking in tongues. I still haven’t forgiven my mom for taking me.

Anyway, I’m 54 now. Way past the childhood trauma of watching a little girl’s head spin 360 degrees while she’s saying the kind of naughty things no little girl has any business saying.

At least, I hope I’m past that trauma. I’ve seen the film several times since 1973 and usually rent it around Halloween as part of my own personal “Horrorfest” movie marathon I host at home. But watching a film and seeing a possessed little girl whose voice is deeper than mine in person are two different things.

Look for an upcoming blog on my reaction to little girl Regan’s evil antics in the coming weeks.

For more ghoulish information on HHN, click here….if you dare! (Cue sinister laugh)