Holiday enthusiasts ready to fall for many Halloween happenings

Each year, something about Oct. 31 just seems to bring out the kid in everyone, whether it’s the decorating, the costumes or the plethora of candy. Whatever the case, people have enjoyed tick-or-treating just as much as original events surrounding the holiday.

And this weekend Halloween celebrants can choose not limit themselves to just the door-to-door candy begging and instead take the opportunity to see what’s happening around town.

High Tide Church will hold its 4th Annual Hay Maze at the Selbyville Town Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 31, at 6 p.m.

“We started with the idea a few years back,” said High Tide’s founding pastor, Andy Ehlers. “One of the members of the congregation lived in Mill Pond, and we realized there were a lot of kids and trick-or-treaters out that way. We wanted to do something for them and for the church.”

After the first year, the town saw a great turnout, and since 2004, it’s been held at the Selbyville Town Hall.

“Last year,” said Ehlers, “we had somewhere between 300 and 400 people come out. There will be superheroes there for the kids, live entertainment, and they’ll all get a bag of candy before they enter the maze. A lot of the kids coming out are dressing up as superheroes,” Ehlers added. “That’s sort of the theme this year.”

The maze itself, made of 800 bales of straw, is will be set up Wednesday morning. Members of High Tide were also set to participate in the Selbyville parade this year, on Oct. 24, complete with a “Batmobile.”

The Dagsboro Church of God, located at 32224 Dupont Boulevard, will be holding their Halloween alternative, Hell’s Domain, on Monday, Oct. 29, through Wednesday, Oct. 31, from 7 to 10 p.m. The church’s variation of the traditional haunted house portrays situation and issues that modern people face each day.

“It was a huge success last year,” said the Rev. Frank Honess of DCoG, “and it left a very powerful impact. The presentation is not a preachy event. We’re not aiming to push the Bible on anyone. We simply want to make people aware of the risks teens and young adults face every day.”

Actors and volunteers participate by posing in strong scenes, depicting issues such as drunk driving, cutting and domestic violence.

“We’re really trying to touch on these concerns,” added Honess, “and we want the community to know that the church is not sitting back. We want to confront these matters and offer solutions.”

Last year’s event, the first that the church had presented, drew more than 400 members of the surrounding community. Admission costs $5, with discounts available for groups of 15 or more, and Hell’s Domain is recommended for ages 12 and older only.

Meanwhile, on a lighter note and for the younger folks, Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes will be hosting the Children’s Fantasy Trail this weekend. It runs on Friday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 27, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., and on Sunday, Oct. 28, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Parents and youngsters are being encouraged to come out to see their favorite storybook characters, participate in programs, watch singing, juggling and magic acts, and trick-or-treat for candy and toys. Admission costs $4 per person, children and adults, and costumes are encouraged but not required. For more information, call the Seaside Nature Center at (302) 645-6852.

Rehoboth and Dewey will once again host the annual Sea Witch Halloween and Fiddlers Festival, celebrating 18 years this weekend, Friday, Oct. 26, through Sunday, Oct. 28. Families can participate in scarecrow-making, the popular Sea Witch hunt, horse-drawn hayrides and much more.

The costume parade will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday along Rehoboth Avenue, with awards for the best costumes following. The Fiddlers Festival will run from 1 to 5 p.m. on the Rehoboth Boardwalk Bandstand, with a rain location at the Convention Hall.

Guests can participate in a pumpkin race, broom-tossing contest and the renowned 5K foot race. Eastern Shore natives Randy Lee Ashcraft and the Saltwater Cowboys will be in attendance playing some original “beach country” music on Saturday morning.

Big Dogs will be sponsoring the best-dressed pet contest and parade, too, starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Vendors will be set up throughout the weekend, as well.

For those wishing to burn off those candy calories early, Ocean City is holding its 15th Annual Seaside 10 on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 9 a.m., starting at the Inlet parking lot at Ocean City’s southernmost point. The 10-mile and 5K race is one of the Mid-Atlantic’s most popular runs, as runners trek along the oceanfront boardwalk and throughout town. There will be a contest for the best-costumed runner, as well. Entry costs $25. For more information, contact (410) 250-0125.

Ocean City will also host a Halloween Spook-out Party on Sunday, Oct. 28, at the Northside Park Complex at 125th Street and the Bay. Participants of all ages can have a howling good time with events that include carnival games, arts and crafts, hayrides, snacks and more. Costume contests are scheduled throughout the event, which runs between 1 and 3 p.m. For more information, call (410) 250-0125.

For those wishing to take the traditional route, trick-or-treating will begin at 6 p.m. on Oct. 31 and run though 8 p.m. for most area towns, including Ocean View, Millville and Selbyville, where the practice is officially limited to those 12 or younger. Most of the area’s beach towns do not have established hours for trick-or-treating. Contact individual town halls for more information on trick-or-treating hours and restrictions.