MIAMI COUNTY — There is a plethora of not-so-frightful, family-friendly events around the county to celebrate the Halloween season.
Tonight from 6:30-8 p.m. will mark the end the first weekend of the Haunted Woods at Brukner Nature Center, which has been offered for more than 30 years, according to BNC Executive Director Deb Oexmann.
“Each year, our trail guides guide groups along a luminary-lit trail, stopping to meet six characters and live wildlife along the way,” Oexmann said.
According to Oexmann, this year’s event includes two new characters — Mary Poppins and Charlie Brown.
She said the fun continues following the trail walk with face-painting, games, nocturnal creatures, fireside tales, refreshments and more.
The downtown Troy events, Hometown Halloween, will offer special visitors during its Saturday, Oct. 27 events, according to organizers. The event is co-sponsored by Troy Noon Optimists and Troy Main Street.
“This year, we are thrilled to add a live band to Hometown Halloween,” said Nicole Loy, executive director of Troy Main Street. “The Wayne Alumni Band will be dressed in costume and play some favorite Halloween tunes including ‘Thriller’ and ‘Ghostbusters.’ In addition to the band, I’ve heard we may have a visit from the Sanderson Sisters of the movie ‘Hocus Pocus.’ It’s going to be spellbinding.”
To continue the Halloween fun in Troy, the fourth annual Boo Bash will be offered at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center from 1-4 p.m. According to Leona Sargent, exhibit coordinator at the center, Boo Bash is a free, family-friendly Halloween celebration the community seems to enjoy.
“The community has been very receptive and they now anticipate the Boo Bash. We have had several hundred in attendance each year,” Sargent said.
Sargent said staff and volunteers at the center do something a little different each year to keep the event fresh.
“This year, we have a superhero theme. The activities include superhero crafts, games, school, and an obstacle course. There’s even an opportunity to have a photo against a superhero backdrop,” Sargent said. “Every child who completes their superhero training will earn a prize and a certificate. There may even be a villain or two lurking through the Hayner mansion.”
The Boo Bash Players, which consist of several of the event’s committee members, also will be on hand with a special “lesson” for children.
“I don’t want to give too much away, but the lesson is a very entertaining description of our obstacle course,” she said.
Trick-or-treat events set:
• TROY — Troy Main Street and the Troy Noon Optimists invite local children to downtown Troy on Saturday, Oct. 27, for a frighteningly good time at their annual Hometown Halloween event.
The Troy Noon Optimists kick off the event with a costume contest at 9 a.m. in the Hobart Government Center parking lot, 510 W. Water St. The competitors will then parade down West Main Street to Prouty Plaza, where awards will be distributed.
From 10 a.m. to noon, all are welcome to visit participating downtown businesses to trick-or-treat for goodies of all kinds.
A live band, the Wayne Alumni Band, will be dressed in costume and play some favorite Halloween tunes including “Thriller” and “Ghostbusters.” In addition, there may be a visit from the Sanderson Sisters of the movie “Hocus Pocus.”
• PIQUA — Downtown Piqua Trick-or-Treat will be from 5:15-6:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24. Costumed characters can make their way from store to store picking up Halloween treats along the way. The annual Kiwanis Halloween parade will follow from 7-7:45 p.m., also in downtown Piqua. Judging will be prior from 6:30-6:45 p.m.
• COVINGTON — The annual Halloween costume contest will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, on Wright Street. Trick-or-treat night will be held from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 30, within the village. Also on Oct. 30, there will be a Community Fall Festival from 5-8 p.m. on Wright Street.
• TROY — Koester Pavilion will host its annual trick-or-treat night from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25. Children from birth to age 12 from the community are invited to this free event. The evening’s schedule will include games, prizes, and plenty of candy.
Koester Pavilion is located at 3232 N. County Road 25-A, Troy, on the Upper Valley Medical Center campus. For more information, call activities director Jessica Fox at 440-5170.
• PIQUA — Edison State Community College will hold a free Halloween trick-or-treat event from 5-6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, at the Piqua Campus. Children up to age 11 are invited to participate and must be accompanied by an adult.
Located throughout campus will be 12 interactive themed stops — such as Harry Potter, Funny Bones, mad scientists, haunted graveyard, and more – where members of the Edison State community will hand out candy and other fun prizes.
Trick-or-treaters are also invited to have their faces painted by the Skull Dollz and decorate a pumpkin. For the first hour of the event, Brukner Nature Center will be showcasing a creepy critter.
• TIPP CITY — The annual Merchant Trick-or-Treat and scavenger hunt hosted by Downtown Tipp City will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20. People of all ages are invited to dress up in their best costumes and venture from shop to shop collecting treats and clues during this Harry Potter-themed event.
Fill out the scavenger hunt card for a chance to win a prize basket from the merchants. Cards are available for pick up at the library and a limited supply at various participating merchants. For more information, visit the Downtown Tipp City Facebook page.
COVINGTON — Fields of Grace Worship Center will host their eighth annual “Trunk or Treat” Saturday, Oct. 27, from 1-3 p.m. at the Covington Community Park. This is open to all communities.
There will be a trunk-decorating contest for those who wish to participate. This year, there is no theme for the trunk competition. First place receives $100, second place $50 and third place $25. Call 573-4282 and advise if you want to participate in the contest or just be a part of the lineup.
Covington FFA will once again be holding their Kiddie Tractor Pull, put on by the National Kiddie Tractor Pull Association at Trunk or Treat. This is for ages 3-8 years and registration will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the Main Street exit to the park. Tractor Pull begins at 1:30p.m. This event is free. First, second and third place trophies will be awarded in each age group. Winners will advance to the state level.
There will be no parking at the park. Please park on surrounding streets and at Finfrock Construction. Transportation for handicapped individuals will be provided to the park from this location. Entrance to Trunk or Treat will be from the Main Street exit only.
For more information, contact the church at (937) 573-4282, visit them on Facebook or go to fieldsofgrace.org.
• Family night: The Miami County YMCA will be having a Halloween family night from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23. There will be games, pumpkin decorating, candy, treats and prizes. The event is open to YMCA members and non-members.
• The Fine Art of Dying III: A walking tour in Piqua, The Fine Art of Dying III, will be offered from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, sponsored by Mainstreet Piqua.
Headstones, footstones and monuments have unique symbols and styles that reflect their age and the societal norms of their eras. Many of the monuments were built in a grand style while others are more modest and present a feeling of private grief. The tour will include lots of walking over uneven grass surfaces.
The tour begins in the front of the Forest Hill Cemetery office off State Route 66, Piqua. The tour is a ticketed event, at $5 each, and tickets can be purchase by stopping by the Mainstreet Piqua office at 326 N. Main St. Call 773-9355 with questions.
• Haunted Woods: Enjoy a kid-friendly evening filled with guided walks, live animals and costumed characters at Brukner Nature Center Haunted Woods, held from 6:30-8 p.m. Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 27-28. The gate opens at 6 p.m. with the first group leaving at 6:30 p.m. and every five minutes after that.
Your guide will lead you along the luminary-lit trail and stop at six stations along the way so you and your family can learn all about the wild creatures of the night (bring your flashlights). Activities also include free face-painting, games, storytelling at a campfire, plus cookies and cider after the hike.
The cost is $5 per person for BNC members and $7 per person for non-members (cash or check only). Kids 2 and under are free. Be sure to have your membership card ready. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis the night of the event, handed out in the order you arrive at the entrance gate, so if you want to join your friends, ride together or meet and drive in together. Parking is limited.
• Ghost tours: Take a ghostly walking tour of downtown Troy with costumed storytellers on Oct. 26-27. Learn the haunted history inside some of your favorite downtown shops and restaurants. The tour changes from year to year, and lasts approximately one hour and occurs rain or moonshine. Hours are 7-9 p.m. Oct. 26, and 6-9 p.m. Oct. 27. A combo ghost tour and viewing the “The Shining” at the Mayflower Arts Center also will be offered for each evening. For tickets, visit ghosttoursoftroy.com. Ghost Tours of Troy is a non-profit event held every October made up of volunteers, and proceeds are donated at the end of the year.
• Halloween Happening: The Miami County Park District will hold its Halloween Happening, which includes a Jack-o’-Lantern Hike, sponsored by the Park District VIPs and Trunk or Treat, from 8-10 p.m. Oct. 27 at Lost Creek Reserve, 2385 E. State Route 41, east of Troy. Guests of all ages are invited to drop by and experience a crisp, fall night hike around the historic Knoop homestead aglow with jack-o’-lanterns. Be sure to stop by the barn at the end of the hike to enjoy a fall treat compliments of the VIPs. The corn maze will also be open from 4-9 p.m. Make sure to bring a flashlight. Drop-ins are welcome. Register for the program by visiting miamicountyparks.com, emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (937) 335-6273, Ext. 109.
• Corn maze: Miami County Park District’s Corn Maze will be open to the public as part of the Halloween Happening from 4-9 p.m. Oct. 27, at Lost Creek Reserve, 2385 E. State Route 41, east of Troy. Experience the adventure as you navigate the twists and turns of this 6-acre corn maze. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight. Admission is $5 donation for adults ages 12 and up, $3 fee for children ages 5-11 and kids under 4 are free.
• Boo Bash: This annual favorite from 1-4 p.m. Oct. 27, at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center is a free family event that includes superhero games, crafts, refreshments, a superhero training camp, obstacle course, a fun photo opportunity, and a grammar lesson with the Boo Bash Players. Superheroes who complete their training will earn a prize and certificate.