Local activities for Halloween weekend

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Halloween is almost here and many college students struggle to find festive events on a budget. If this sounds familiar, don’t worry! Jackson County hosts many regular events this time of year that allow students to find some devilishly good fun without breaking the bank.

If you are looking for something family-oriented, The Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department hosts an annual Pumpkin Patch at its Cullowhee office. The event is scheduled for Friday, October 28 from 5-8 p.m. Fun for all ages, bring a camera and pick out a pumpkin! A one dollar suggested donation is recommended for families with children ages 3-10. For more information, contact Jackson County Parks and Recreation at 828-293-3053.

In a partying mood? The Democratic Women of Jackson County are holding their annual fundraiser on October 28 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Held at the Jackson County Family Resource Center in Webster, the gathering will feature round dancing, raffles, auctions, traditional Appalachian music, along with a chili and baked potato dinner. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children age 12 and under. They can be purchased at the door or at the Democratic Party headquarters at 500 Mill Street in downtown Sylva. For more information, contact Donna Dupree at 828-246-1186

Athletes may join in the Zombie 5K Chase Race, held at Western Carolina University on October 29. Starting at 9 a.m. at the Track and Field Complex, the race will cover much of Western Carolina’s beautiful campus. Registration fees are $25 and can be paid online at www.active.com. Proceeds from the race will provide support for community physical therapy services and funding for research through the American Physical Therapy Association. More information can be found at the “Zombie Run 5K Chase Race” Facebook page.

Auto enthusiasts will want to check out the classic car show sponsored by the Sylva Rotary Club. Hosted on Front Street in Dillsboro, the Spirit of the Smokies Car Show is an annual event featuring motor vehicles of all shapes and sizes. Classic cars and motorcycles are displayed alongside modified vehicles and antique farm equipment. Proceeds from registration support local non-profit organizations.

The Tuckasegee Trading Company will be hosting its annual Fall Customer Appreciation Day on October 29, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Shoppers can expect sales, raffles, live music, and free food. Why not pick up some freebies while finishing a Halloween costume or take care of some early Christmas shopping? More information can be found by contacting the Tuckasegee Trading Company at 828-293-1514.

No Halloween festivities would be complete without a haunted house. The Wesley Foundation at Western Carolina will be hosting two separate events on the nights of October 28 and 29 from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. October 28 will feature the Paranormal Containment Unit, in which guests will join a team tasked with “containing” a host of supernatural creatures. October 29 will be highlighted by a Blackout Horror Maze. Visitors must enter alone or with a friend, avoiding various spooks while navigating a darkened obstacle course. Both events will be located at Cullowhee United Methodist Church. Admission is $5 per person, with all proceeds supporting the Wesley Foundation’s future relief mission work. More information is available on The Wesley Foundation Haunted House Facebook page.

Any aspiring artists may be tempted by a Glass Pumpkin Class held at the Jackson County Green Energy Park. After registering for a half-hour time slot, visitors will be taught the basics of blown glass art and have the opportunity to make their own glass pumpkin. No experience is necessary, and finished art projects can be picked up 48 hours after class. An admission fee of $40 is due at registration. For more information, contact Jackson County Green Energy Park at 828-631-0271 or visit www.jcgep.org.

Halloween itself boasts a number of regional parties and events. Downtown Dillsboro will be hosting a trick or treat block party from 5-7 p.m. This social event will feature games and hayrides, courtesy of Dogwood Crafters and Jarrett Memorial Church. The town of Sylva will be hosting a similar Treat Street event the same day from 6-8 p.m. Participating businesses and organizations throughout downtown Sylva will provide games, treats and other fun for people of all ages.

Halloween and Western Carolina Homecoming coincide this year! Between costume parties, remember to support the Catamounts as the cross country teams compete at the Southern Conference Championship, volleyball goes head to head with Furman, and the football team battles Chattanooga in homecoming contests. Tickets to all Western Carolina athletic events can be reserved at www.catamountsports.com.

Tonight, Western Carolina University will be hosting a concert in the Ramsey Center. Mayday Parade, a pop-rock group, will be joined by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Rescue Party, two alternative rock bands. Student tickets are $12 for floor and $18 for arena with cat card, while general admission tickets are $18 for floor and $22 for arena. Tickets can be purchased online at ramsey.wcu.edu or by contacting the Ramsey Center Ticket Office at 828-227-7722.

Stay safe and have fun while exploring the many festive attractions and Homecoming events.