Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Halloween Happenings

By Brianne Harrison

The countdown to Halloween 2009 is on, and New Jersey is getting right into the—er—spirit of things, starting this weekend.

Never one to miss out when there’s a holiday to be celebrated, Victorian Cape May will host two weeks of specially themed tours and events, including Historic Haunts tours, Ghostwriter Trolley Rides, Miss Parmentier’s Psychic Teas, and Phantoms of Physick Estate. For more information, visit capemaymac.org.

Few things say “Halloween” or, at least, “fall” than pumpkins, which get their very own celebrations this weekend. The 18th Annual Pumpkin Festival at Cape May’s Cold Spring Village will feature a craft show, music, games, pumpkin painting and, in honor of the season, a haunted hayride and a Halloween parade.

Speaking of pumpkins, have you ever wondered how far a catapult can launch one? Find out at the second annual Flying Pumpkin Festival on Saturday. Representatives from NJ Hurl will use medieval war machines to send pumpkins flying about 500 feet. You can also build and race your own cars out of ears of corn, participate in a cake walk or miniature pumpkin launching challenge, and pick your own pumpkin. The event benefits America’s Grow-A-Row (americasgrowarow.org), which provides fresh produce to feed the hungry through volunteer efforts of growing, gleaning, picking, and delivering.

Also on Saturday is the Gardner’s Basin Oktoberfest and Steel Pier Reunion. The event, which runs from noon to 4 p.m., will have live music, food, fun, and appearances from some of the luminaries from Atlantic City’s famous Steel Pier. Meet Ed Hurst, host of the popular ‘Summertime at the Pier’ television show, one of the ‘high diving horse’ girls, and some of Tony’ Grant’s ‘Stars of Tomorrow’. (While you’re in the neighborhood, why not stay over to Sunday and run off some of the bratwurst in the Annual Atlantic City Marathon?)

Busy this weekend? Tuckerton Seaport’s hosting its Haunted Seaport Halloween celebration on October 23 and 24. See the seaport come alive with spirits who haunt the waterways and woods. Visitors can stroll the boardwalk and search for the Jersey Devil or long-lost pirates. For more information, visit tuckertonseaport.org.

Finally, on Halloween proper, go trick or treating at the Emlen Physick Estate in Cape May or, for the grownups, swing by CoolVines in Princeton and Westfield to taste some Candy for Adults—wines to pair and serve with dessert.

Happy Haunting!

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