Halloween: Plenty of fun events in Modesto area

Scary. Or not. It's all up to you.

The approach of Oct. 31 offers up scares and screams for those who lean toward the ghost and goblin side of things, or a night of harvest celebration for those who prefer a more benign kind of party.

Either way, the region is awash in Halloween and harvest events.

Some are going on right now and will continue -- including pumpkin patch fun and at least one promise of a very scary haunted house.

This weekend offers up an All Hallows Fantasy Faire from the folks who bring festivalgoers the Sonora Celtic Faire. Event organizers promise 40 vendors, five bands, a children's area, stage acts, pumpkin carving, fairies, storytellers, fire shows, face painting and more.

Among the bands scheduled are Culann's Hounds, Black Irish Band and 1916. Dance comes from the Sierra Spiral Dancers, Adamantine and Sol Luna. And, when darkness falls tonight, you can catch a fiery show by the Brotherhood of Firebenders.

More on the boos and woo-hoos here and on the way:

DELL'OSSO FAMILY FARM -- Through Oct. 30. Zip lines, steam train, jumping pillows, corn maze, haunted house, pumpkin blaster, racetrack, food, pumpkins and more. Open at 10 a.m. daily. Dell'Osso Farms, 26 W. Stewart Road, Lathrop. Free. 982-0833.

THE HI 4-H HAUNTED HOUSE: REALMS OF DARKNESS -- Through Oct. 30. Staged by Tuolumne County 4-H teens for other teens and young adults. Evening performances are not recommended for young children. Today's demonstration with lights is suitable for children accompanied by an adult. 4-5:30 p.m. and 7-9:30 p.m. today; 7-8:30 p.m. Oct. 28-29; 7-10 p.m. Oct. 30-31; J.S. West Lumber, 730 S. Washington St., Sonora. $6; $1 for today's matinee. 533-6990.

DUTCH HOLLOW FARMS -- Through Oct. 31. Pumpkins, picnic area, farm animals. 5101 Oakdale Road, Modesto. 456-4629. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Fridays and Sundays; 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays.

HAUNTED HOUSE -- Through Oct. 31. Presented by Riverbank High School drama students. 6-9 p.m., Saturdays-Sundays. Riverbank High School, 6200 Claus Road. $5.

FANTOZZI FARMS -- Through Nov. 1. Pig races, corn mazes, haunted mazes, pumpkin patch, corn cannons, hay-bale labyrinth, pony rides, pyramid and more. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays. Monday-Thursdays by reservations only. 2550 Sperry Ave., Patterson. $7-$12. 892-2015.

HAUNTED HAYRIDE -- Today. Small concession stand will be available and a Build a Bear vendor. Presented by the city of Riverbank. 7-10 p.m. Jacob Myers Park, Riverbank. $4-$6; children 3 and younger free. 869-7010.

A HALLOWEEN SAFETY FAIR -- Today. Meet McGruff. Also, bicycle safety and free bike helmets, free child ID and DNA kits, child safety seat installation and more. Presented by various police, fire and public safety agencies. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Save Mart parking lot, at Scenic and Oakdale, Modesto. Free.

ALL HALLOWS FANTASY FAIRE -- Today-Sunday. Live music, fantasy village, costumed performers, village marketplace, contests, jugglers and more. 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. today, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Mother Lode Fairground, Sonora. $5-$30; 5 and younger free.

AUTUMN FESTIVAL -- Sunday. Intuitive readings, tarot, psychic counseling, reiki healing. Refreshments. 12:30-4 p.m. Creative Life Center, 145 Woodrow, A2, Modesto. Free. 526-7137.

EMPIRE COMMUNITY HALLOWEEN PARTY -- Oct. 30. Crafts, costume contest, pumpkin bowling, treats, face painting, story corner, candy and Halloween safety tips. 2:30-4:30 p.m. Costume contest at 3:30 p.m. Empire Library, 18 S. Abbie. Free. 578-3577.

ILLUMINATION OF THE JACK-O'-LANTERNS -- Oct. 30. Carve your pumpkins, bring them to the Columbia Museum for judging. Prizes for the most original, gruesome, entertaining. The Gold Rush Balladeers will perform. At dusk, the jack-o'-lanterns will be illuminated. Wear Halloween costumes. 5:30 p.m. Columbia State Historic Park, Main and State streets. Free. 536-1672.

HALLOWEEN CARNIVAL & HAUNTED HOUSE -- Oct. 30. Presented by Associated Students of Modesto Junior College. Movies, games, face painting, pumpkin decorating, food, juggling, trick-or-treating, a haunted house and a costume contest for all ages. Family appropriate costumes requested. 4-8 p.m. Modesto Junior College West Campus, 2201 Blue Gum Ave. Free; game tickets $1; $20 for 25. 575-7992.

HALLOWEEN HAUNTS WEEKEND -- Oct. 31-Nov. 1. 7:30 p.m. dinner and seance Friday; 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. cemetery walks, 7:30 p.m. dinner Saturday; 9:30 a.m. breakfast Sunday. Murphys Hotel, 457 Main St. 728-3444.

HALLOWEEN MASQUERADE DANCE -- Oct. 31. Presented by Turlock Pentecost Association. Music by Machado DJ. Prizes for top three costumes, children and adults. 8 p.m.-midnight. Turlock Ballroom, 528 Golden State Blvd. Free. 634-0576.

HAUNTED HOUSE HALLOWEEN GALA -- Haunted house, carnival games, children's book giveaway, trick-or-treating. 6-9 p.m. The Village housing facility at California State University, Stanislaus, in Turlock.

OAKDALE HALLOWEEN PARADE & FESTIVAL -- Oct. 31. Games, face painting, free hot dogs, movie, costume contest. Parade on G Street to First Avenue and ends at Towne Plaza. 5 p.m. parade; festival follows. Oakdale Towne Plaza. 845-359.

HALLOWEEN FESTIVAL -- Oct. 31. Carnival games, costume contest, crafts, face painting, science fun, entertainment, haunted courtyard, spooky story time, carriage ride to hay maze. 6-8 p.m. Free. Ceres Community Center, 2701 Fourth St.

MONSTER BASH VI -- Oct. 31. Mardi Gras style. Advance sales only. Jeffrey Hotel, 5001 Main St., Coulterville. $19. 878-3471. 8 p.m.-midnight.

HALLOWEEN PARADE AND COSTUME CONTEST -- Oct. 31. Parade begins at Guaranty Bank. Judging three age groups: up to 4 years, 5-8 years, 9-12 years. Prizes and candy. Lakes Shopping Center, Oakdale at Floyd, Modesto. Free. 1:30 p.m. registration; 2 p.m. parade.


HARVEST FESTIVAL -- Oct. 30. 409 12th St., Modesto. Sponsored by The Journey Church and Crosswalk Church. Carnival games, prizes, food, music, costume contest (nonscary costumes only), etc., for kids from preschool through junior high. 6-8:30 p.m. Games and food donation: adults, $1; children to age 18, one can of food. 524-7489.

AUSSIE OUTBACK -- Oct. 31. Calvary Chapel of Modesto, 4500 American Ave. at Pelandale Avenue. Harvest party theme: Boomerang Express Train to the Great Australian Outback. Come dressed as anything Australian or as a train engineer. Bounce houses, slides, games and candy. 6:30-9 p.m. Free. 545-5530.

FALL FESTIVAL -- Oct. 31. Indoor carnival with games, bounce house, prizes, candy, etc. Stew, corn bread, pizza and pie for purchase. 5-7 p.m. Free. Centenary Methodist Church, 1911 Toyon Ave., Modesto. 527-5441.

LIGHT UP THE NIGHT FALL FUN FAIR -- Oct. 31. Hay rides, inflatables, carnival games, contests, face painting, crafts, and a treasure hunt. 5:30-7 p.m. Modesto Covenant Church, 913 Floyd Ave., Modesto. 527-4110.

SUPERHERO MYSTERY NIGHT -- Oct. 31. Cornerstone Community Church, 17900 Comconex Road, Manteca. Giant inflatables, carnival games, snack bar, candy, superheroes such as Batman, Batgirl, Robin, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Hulk, etc. to sign autographs and pose for photos. For children through seventh grade and parents. 6-9 p.m. Cost: $1 and one bag of candy. 825-1220.

TRUNK OR TREAT -- Oct. 31. Bethel Church, 2361 Scenic Drive, Modesto. Decorated car trunks filled with treats plus games, prizes, bounce houses. 5-7 p.m. Free. 521-5440.

SAFE FOOD AND FUN FOR EVERYONE -- Oct. 31. Games, prizes, food in the gymnasium. 4-8 p.m. St. Anthony's Catholic Church, 323 N. Fremont St., Manteca. Free; game tickets 25 cents-$10. 823-4513.

HARVEST PARTY -- Oct. 31. Dutch Hollow Farms, Claribel at Oakdale. Sponsored by Modesto Christian Reformed Church. Games, prizes, candy. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Free. 523-1906.

TRUNK OR TREAT -- Oct. 31. Trinity United Presbyterian Church, 1600 Carver Road, Modesto. No scary costumes. Admission: Any cat supply, such as cat beds, toys, food, litter, etc., which will be donated to Alley Cat Guardians. 5-8 p.m. 529-3228.

FAMILY FUN NIGHT -- Oct. 31. Games, candy, and activities. Nonscary costumes. Pizza, hot dogs and drinks for sale. 5:30-7:30 p.m. First Baptist Church, 1316 12th St., Modesto. Free. 521-0181.

HARVEST CARNIVAL-- Oct. 31. Games, treats, bungee run, bounce house, obstacle course. Nonscary costumes. Drawing for a girl's bike and a boy's bike. 5-8:30 p.m. (Ignited Youth festival with live music continues until 10 p.m.)Gateway Community Church, 3350 Lester Road, Denair. 667-0168.