Tonawanda News — Hundreds of small ghosts and ghouls (and princesses, pirates and more) will descend upon the Tonawandas’ Gateway Harbor from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday for Haunted Harbor, the annual celebration of Halloween that also draws boaters from throughout the area to decorate their vessels, dress up and bring out the candy.
Pam Hogan, North Tonawanda recreation & senior coordinator, said the NT side of things will include free apples and pumpkins for children, apple cider, games and candy. All children are encouraged to wear costumes and also trick or treat at the lighted boats that flock to the harbor for the event, she said.
”Those boats ... (the owners) put their lights on and do the costumes themselves. It’s probably one of the best events we do; it’s unique and creative,” Hogan said, who added that last year’s Haunted Harbor drew more than 300 people despite inclement weather. “Rain doesn’t deter people from coming out with their kids. It’s a nice safe, family event.”
This year, the City of Tonawanda side of the event will host a costume contest for the first time, said Amanda Lofft, director of Tonawanda parks and recreation. Anyone 18 and younger who’s interested in being part of it should be at the stage on that side of the canal at 6:15 p.m.
Prizes will be awarded in five categories: Best homemade, best group, most unique, best celebrity and goriest or scariest. There will also be trick-or-treat stations.
In addition to many Halloween-themed events taking place this weekend, local municipalities have also set trick-or-treating hours for Thursday. In North Tonawanda, hours will be 5 to 8 p.m., according to Mayor Robert Ortt. In the City of Tonawanda, Mayor Ron Pilozzi announced Halloween hours from 6 to 8 p.m. In the Village of Kenmore, hours are also 6 to 8 p.m., while the Town of Tonawanda does not set trick-or-treating hours.
Other local Halloween events include:
• St. Mark Lutheran Church, 1135 Oliver St., North Tonawanda, will host a Trunk or Treat party from 6 to 7:30 p.m. today. The event includes food, games, a cupcake walk, haunted house, pumpkin decorating, candy and prizes. Admission is a nonperishable food item to support the North Tonawanda Food Pantry.
• On the more adult side of things, the Riviera Theatre, 67 Webster St., North Tonawanda, will host the Rocky Horror Picture Party at 10 p.m. today. The event will feature dancing, a cash bar and a costume contest. Opening the evening will be Eye Candy Burlesque and the “ladies” of Club Marcella. The interactive “Rocky Horror Picture Show” movie experience begins at midnight. Tickets are $17 general admission, $20 the day of the show or $5 for the movie only. For more information, visit rivieratheatre.org or call 692-2413.
• Halloween on the Green will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Municipal Green, Delaware Avenue and Delaware Road in Kenmore. The event, which also marks the final day of the 2013 farmers market, includes games, crafts, face painting, a raffle and food. A costume contest for children 12 and younger will take place at 11:30 a.m. Magician Todd Nelson will perform at 12:15 p.m.
• Trick or Treat on Delaware will take place from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday on Delaware Avenue in Kenmore. Merchants along Delaware Avenue will have treats for children; participants should look for the ghost signs in merchant windows.
• The North Tonawanda Library, 505 Meadow Drive, will host a Halloween edition of “Watercolor Fusion with Virginia Kelley” from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Activities for all ages will include watercolor painting stations, craft tables, a photo booth and snacks. Costumes are encouraged but not required. All supplies will be provided. For more information, call the library at 693-4132.
• At 2 p.m. Saturday, Brighton Place Library, 999 Brighton Road, Town of Tonawanda, will host a Halloween Costume Runway Show. Children between the ages of 2 and 10 will walk the “orange carpet” to show off their costumes. Children will begin lining up at 1:50 p.m.; the show will begin promptly at 2 p.m. There is a maximum of 25 participants. Call 332-4375 for more information.
• A Monster Mash Party for children ages 5 to 7 will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Kenmore Branch Library, 160 Delaware Road. The event will feature stories, songs, crafts and games. Costume are optional. Registration is necessary. To register, stop at the library or call 873-2842.
• The sixth annual Grace Swiston Memorial Fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association will feature a Halloween costume contest from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Squire’s Tap Room, 127 Niagara St., City of Tonawanda. Basket raffle tickets are $10 a sheet of three for $25. For more information, call Squire’s at 692-2093.
• “Not-So-Spooky Stories” with Ann Marie Jason will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the City of Tonawanda Library, 333 Main St., Tonawanda. The event is for children 3 to 7 and their families. Refreshments will be served. Call 693-5043 to register.
• The annual Halloween parade held by the Kenmore Volunteer Fire Department will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday starting at the corner of Wardman Avenue and Delaware Road in Kenmore. The parade ends at the Kenmore Fire Department, 16 Nash Road, where children will receive doughnuts, cider and a candy bag.