Halloween is now a whole season, pick and choose from the big plans the greater community has to make the most of yours.
October is a month of perfectly chilly air, beautiful leaves blanketing the sidewalks, endless reruns of “Hocus Pocus” and aisles of candy corn. To top it all off, we get to end the month with a major celebration of the eeriest holiday of the year: Halloween.
What once was a night of trick-or-treating, the holiday has become several days and even weeks of celebration waiting to happen. Here’s what’s going on near Decatur and Druid Hills:
Peeps and Pups at Emory Village Open Streets
When motor traffic stops, the fun begins at the community’s most popular free public event, Open Streets Emory Village. The Dekalb County and Emory Village Alliance (EVA) initiative draws support from local businesses, civic innovators and Druid Hills and Emory neighbors to make room for community, activity, sustainability and experience the Village in a completely different way.
This marks the fifth year of this signature event for the EVA – a partnership of businesses, neighbors and Emory University dedicated to improve the vitality and accessibility of Emory Village as a work, play and dine destination.
Pedestrians, pups and kids of all sizes are welcome for performances by local artists, street performers, a puppet show and other activities. Without the threat of car traffic, people of all ages and abilities get active as they walk, run, bike, roll, dance and play in the streets while enjoying the impeccable weather and irresistible hair-raising hallows of festival events.
Your Runway for a Fright-Filled Fashion Show
The Halloween parade is a highlight, even the dogs dress up in masterpieces for the popular Dog Costume Contest. Starting at 2 p.m. on October 29, it’s your chance to make the streets of Emory Village your personal runway and the festive parade your own frightening fashion show.
Food vendors and local restaurants will be ready with delicious bites for when the post-parade hunger sets in or you can’t escape that tempting festival food smell wafting from your neighbors’ plates. Adults can quench their thirst at outside beer tents and cocktails.
The best part about Open Streets Emory Village is the opportunity to experience a haven of community the EVA has worked for years to provide. Emory Village turns from a busy hub to a place to meet with neighbors who care about community issues as much as holiday fun. Anyone with a craving for bobbed apples or a Halloween spirit will be greeted with a welcoming bustle of togetherness.
Last year’s event was a feast for the senses for the estimated 1,200 attendees. They delighted in sounds of local bands playing and drummers drumming, the sights of parading kids and performing circus acts, the touch of making kudzu wreaths and a giant climbing wall, and the inviting smells and delicious tastes of Village food and brews. This year, the goal is to make the event even better.
Sometimes the best way to experience the magic is to make it happen. As a volunteer, you’ll give fresh ideas and energy and get mentoring, support and the satisfaction of giving back.
For more information visit emoryvillage.org
On Saturday, October 28, bring the whole family to Fernbank Museum from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a ghoulish gathering. Regular museum admission fees (members are free) get you into the BOO-seum for fun and Halloween-themed activities, including mystery boxes of eyeballs and spiders, a DJ for those who want to do the monster mash, and trick or treating all around the museum. Enter your family’s cleverest costumein the costume contest to win “Best Family,” or give your child their fifteen minutes of fame with a win for “Best Overall Kids Costume.”
For more details call 404.492.5293 or visit fernbankmuseum.org
Decatur Ghost Tour
If haunted spirits roam the streets, the Decatur Ghost Tour is a place for a meet and greet. The two hour tour begins in the heart of the downtown square, where modern shops and restaurants share common space with the ghosts of Decatur’s exciting past. The twilight visit to Decatur’s cemetery is the grand finale, where some of the city’s most notable citizens were laid to rest. Cameras are welcome, you may capture an orb or apparition to share on Instagram.
To find the next tour call 404.296.7771
Haints and Saints Halloween Parade
Reawakening the rich tradition of parade history that goes back to Maury Mable parading down Ponce de Leon Avenue in his black silk top hat, Decatur’s HomeGrown shop began the Haints and Saints parade in 2011. It started as a small walking parade around the square and has grown to include floats, bands, hearses and classic cars. This year’s parade is Sunday, October 29.
For more information visit decaturhalloweenparade.com
Atlanta Halloween Half Marathon and 5k
Now that the heat and humidity of the summer have passed, there’s no better season to lace up to race up and earn those treats before you eat them. For the fifth year, walkers and runners of all fitness levels will don costumes or “dress up like runners” as they gather at the start line in Old Fourth Ward Historic Park. Cast your best spell and see if you can whiz up the hills or to the finish line faster. Finishers are awarded a Feature Creature medal that’s destined to become a collectible like the bats, vampires, skeletons, werewolves and zombies of the past have been. Prizes await for fast finishers and best dressed. Race begins at 8 a.m. Sunday, October 29.
Register at halloweenhalfmarathon.com
Little 5 Points Halloween Festival
This signature event is the unofficial kickoff of Halloween happenings. In its 17th year, the festival is ranked one of the top 10 Halloween events in the country. Saturday, October 21 you’ll join 35,000 holiday fans walking or watching the iconic parade. Festivities include a killer (pun intended) line up of live music and the most creative artist market this side of the Mississippi. Bites and beverages from food vendors will sustain you because the party starts at noon and doesn’t quiet down til 11 p.m.
Find more details for fun at L5PHalloween.com
Mummies and Mixers at Carlos Museum
Prepare to walk like an ancient Egyptian Friday, October 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. at this annual monster bash. Last year tickets sold out, so get yours soon for guaranteed wicked movies, music and food. Plus you’ll be sipping cocktails by Julian Goglia (renowned for work at The Mercury, The Pinewood Tipping Room and Proof Cocktail Syrups) in costume. Stop by the ancient Egyptian face painting stations for looks that will match the mummies around you. Stop by the ancient Egyptian face painting for looks that will match the mummies around you. If you’re feeling particularly lavish, purchase a VIP ticket to start your evening at six, participate in champagne toast, and spend an extra hour with the mummies and the museum curator, Dr. Melinda Hartwig.
Tickets available at carlos.emory.edu/mummymixtix
Just outside of town, take a break from the fright on a guided Halloween hike at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Go for a 45-minute, well-lit hike through the forest to see Georgia’s nature and meet woodland creatures, including costumed Dragonfly and Box Turtle. Beginning October 20, Friday and Saturday hikes start at 7 p.m. and run continuously until 9:45. The $10 fee grants access to a night of face painting, crafts, music, hiking and a campfire. Spend a night this season in a monster-free, family-friendly safe zone for an educational and magical evening. Don’t forget some cash for hot chocolate, coffee, and s’mores.
Find details at chattnaturecenter.org
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Avondale Farmer’s Market
Sundays through October 29
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
It’s harvest season and no place better to find local bounties than The Avondale Estates Farmers Market. Shop this outdoor farmer’s market stocked by various local vendors selling fruits, veggies, eggs, cheese, meat, baked goods, prepared foods, coffee, pasta, jam, sweet treats, handmade goods and more. The market is in the parking lot of My Parents’ Basement, 22 North Avondale Road. Be sure to stop by for some fresh goodies.
Decatur Tiny House Festival
September 29 through October 1
The trend to tiny is alive in the City of Decatur. The festival partners with the City of Decatur focusing on how micro-housing can benefit individuals and communities in the metro Atlanta area. The weekend event will feature 20+ high quality, tiny houses to tour, related vendors and speakers on sustainability, minimalism, urban planning, zoning and codes, and downsizing. There’s even a VIP Tiny Soiree Friday night. For tickets and details check out tinyhouseatlanta.com.
October 7 9 a.m.
Kickstart your fall fitness goals with healthy dose of run, walk or combination of both. Co-hosted by the Decatur Education Foundation, in partnership with the 4/5 Academy at Fifth Avenue, this rain-orshine (let’s hope shine) event features a 5K starting on 5th Avenue in Oakhurst as well as a chance to join city commissioners and past mayors during The Mayor’s Mile in Oakhurst Village. Visit decatureducationfoundation.org/5a5k to register.
October 14 12 to 7 p.m.
Porchfest, the ultimate grassroots community music festival where front porches become stages, yards become venues and radical generosity and good will rule the day. Maybe because it’s 100% resident owned and operated, the grassroots jam has been going and growing every year since its inaugural 2015 show. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to meander from yard to yard, listen, hang out, and connect/reconnect with your neighbors. Find the line-up as well as this year’s poster at oakhurstporchfest.org.
Decatur Education Foundation Supper & Sips
It’s the biggest food party in one of the biggest foodie towns. Supper & Sips (formerly the Boil & Brew) boasts a lively auction, inspired interpretations of southern food from award-winning Decatur chefs and craft beer and wine selections. For tickets, details about this event and more about the Decatur Education Foundation, visit decatureducationfoundation.org.
Decatur Wine Festival & Artwalk
Artwalk: November 3, 5 to 10 p.m.
Wine Festival: November 4, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Wine and art belong together. That’s why the Decatur Wine Festival kicks off the ArtWalk on Friday, November 3rd. Each art spot features the work of one or more artists. Visit any or all 13! It’s free and open to the public. Then Saturday, taste wines from around the globe and enjoy music at metro Atlanta’s largest outdoor wine festival. It’s drinks for a great cause since proceeds benefit the Decatur Arts Alliance, which produces the Decatur Arts Festival and many other arts events free to the community each year. Whether rain or shine, it’s wine-thirty on the square in Downtown Decatur. Find tickets and more at decaturwinefestival.org.
The Annual Museum School Auction – Night at the Museum, Explorers Dream!
Friday, November 3
Unforgettable fun for a great cause, this is the largest fundraiser of the year to benefit the Museum School of Avondale Estates. The event will be returning to Agnes Scott College this year for another incredible night of dinner, dancing and both live and silent auctions. Last year the funds raised at this event provided new computers carts giving every student access to a computer! It’s been a sell-out event the past three years, so get tickets when they go on sale October 1. Up your contribution and sponsor an event, donate an item, or just get more info at tmsauction.com.
Avondale Estates Holiday Bazar
Saturday, November 11
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Once Halloween is a wrap, kick off the holiday season with the Avondale Estates Garden Club’s annual Holiday Bazar. The one day shopping extravaganza is called a “bazar” because of the wide variety of merchandise to be found there: Jewelry, gourmet baked goods, unique handbuilt birdhouses, Christmas décor, books, children’s toys, antiques, house plants and so much more. You might even get lucky in the raffles going throughout the day. Get your shop on at Avondale Community Club, 21 North Avondale Plaza.
by Ellie Butterfield