Leaves are changing color, temperatures are dropping, and people are already picking out their Halloween costumes. October is knocking at the door, bringing with it fall festivities, trick-or-treating opportunities and other seasonal celebrations.
The City of Kenai will hold its Eighth Annual Fall Pumpkin Festival on Saturday, Oct. 7, starting at noon. At Millennium Square, the field behind Arby’s, there will be pumpkin painting, pumpkin displays, music, food trucks, a hayride, games and a pumpkin drop — in which a pumpkin will be lifted high into the air and then surrendered to gravity to produce a seasonal splat. For more information, search for “City of Kenai Parks & Recreation” on Facebook.
As part of that festival, a pumpkin art contest will be held for kids aged 12 or younger. Free pumpkins can be picked up at the Kenai Community Library between Oct. 2 and Oct. 6, then decorated and delivered to the festival’s information tent on Oct. 7. Winners will be named at 1 p.m.
In Hope, Hopetober Fest will return to Creekbend Cafe on Oct. 7, with family games, hayrides, face painting and axe throwing from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., then a performance by Blackwater Railroad Company from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, visit facebook.com/creekbendco.
The Kenai Chamber of Commerce will open “Haunted Chamber — A Haunted Maze Experience” on Oct. 7. Entry is free, though a toy drive will be connecting monetary, food and toy donations at the door. The haunted chamber will be open until Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, and a special 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday the 13th. Sunday through Thursday will be “Family Friendly,” while Friday and Saturdays are “More Extreme” with jumpscares. For more information, visit facebook.com/Kenaichamber.
The Kenai Community Library will host a crafting session called “Make-A-Monster” on Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 4 p.m. Attendees will design and sew their own “friendly spirit,” information provided by the library says. The event is designed for beginner sewers, but space is limited, visit the main desk or call 907-283-4378 to reserve a spot.
North Peninsula Recreation Service Area will hold its annual Costume Caper, a fun run in support of the Nikiski Food Pantry, on Oct. 21 at Nikiski Community Recreation Center. Registration is at 10 a.m., followed by the race at 11 a.m. Canned food donations are sought at the event. More information is available at “North Peninsula Recreation Service Area” on Facebook.
For the fifth year, Kenai Aviation will drop pumpkins out of planes on Oct. 21 at its annual Pumpkin Drop & Chili/Cornbread Cookoff. This year, the action is moving, held down the road from their location at the Kenai Municipal Airport Operations Building by the Kenai Animal Shelter on North Willow Street. The cook-off is open to public, with anyone invited to enter a dish or just show up and vote. There will also be games and pumpkin decorating opportunities for kids. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but the pumpkins won’t start to fly until after a pilot briefing scheduled for 11 a.m. Awards will be given out after the last pumpkin is made flat. Pumpkin dropping can be viewed in person at the “drop-zone” or via a live feed in the Operations Building.
The Sterling Community Center is jumping out ahead of the holiday craft bazaar circuit with its Fallfest, a craft and vendor fair being held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 21 and 22. The fair will feature local vendors and artists, as well as food — an event poster promising an opportunity to get an early start on holiday shopping. For more information, find “Sterling Community Center” on Facebook.
The Kenai Community Library’s Literary Haunted House will return Oct. 24 to Oct. 31 during the library’s business hours. The “not-too-scary” haunted house will be free and open to all ages, with interactive exhibits based on familiar characters.
The Soldotna Public Library will hold Halloween Story Time on Friday, Oct. 27 at 4 p.m. The library says the event will feature “spooooky stories and boo-tiful crafts.” They encourage Halloween costumes be worn for stories, crafts and a cupcake walk open to all ages.
A Fall Carnival will be held at Nikiski North Star Elementary on Friday, Oct. 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be trick-or-treating, a haunted house, games, food, live music and a costume contest. For more information, search for “Nikiski North Star PTO” on Facebook.
The Friends of the Kenai Community Library will hold a pop-up book sale at the library in collaboration with its haunted house Oct. 28, 1-4 p.m. The sale will offer “mysteries, thrillers and children’s adventure books at scary low prices,” provided information says.
Treefort Theatre and Intuition Salon will be bringing a shadowcast performance of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” to the Orca Theater’s annual Halloween-time screening of the film. The single showing will run at 11:45 p.m. on Oct. 28, with tickets costing $20. A poster for the event says that proceeds will be directed to local nonprofits. For more information, find Treefort Theatre on Facebook.
On Halloween, Oct. 31, the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank will again hold the annual “It’s Scary to Be Hungry” event. People and families can drive through the food bank’s decorated parking lot and get a free meal and other “goodies” from staff in costume.
Trick or Treats
The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula’s Trunk or Treat will be held at their location on South Spruce Street on Oct. 28 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to traditional trick or treating opportunities, there will be a variety of activities, and free hotdog dinners.
The Kenai Elks Lodge will host a Trunk or Treat in its parking lot on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The Kenai Senior Center will host an indoor Trick or Treat from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tables inside will be decorated with candy and hot chocolate provided by Kenai seniors. There will also be books, “treats for the young mind,” available.
Capstone Clinic in Kenai will host a “Harry Potter” themed Trunk or Treat at their location on Oct. 28 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is one canned food item per person, benefitting the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank.
Kenai Peninsula College will host a Trick or Treat at the Kenai River Campus in Soldotna on Oct. 31. From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., candy and games will be available in an indoor event.
Denali Family Dentistry will host a Trunk or Treat in its parking lot on Oct. 31 from 5 p.m., to 6 p.m.
The Orca Theater will host its 4th Annual Trunk or Treat in the parking lot on Oct. 31 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church will be offering free hotdogs and hot chocolate, as well as a chance to warm up for trick or treaters on Oct. 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
North Peninsula Recreation Service Area will also be hosting an indoor Trick or Treat at its facilities in Nikiski on Oct. 31. The “Trick or Treat Alley” will be open from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The Soldotna Church of God on West Redoubt Avenue will host a Trunk or Treat in the church parking lot on Oct. 31, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The web version of this story on peninsulaclarion.com will be updated with additional events and trick-or-treating opportunities as they are announced.
If you know of a Halloween event on the central Kenai Peninsula that’s missing, reach reporter Jake Dye at firstname.lastname@example.org.