By Finn Heimbold
The 2023 Halloween season has arrived in Homer, starting on Saturday, Oct. 28 with the 2nd Annual Fall Festival.
Produced by and located at the Homer Chamber of Commerce, the fest will offer a variety of Halloween-themed festivities from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., including a 5K Zombie Run, a pumpkin carving contest and a costume contest with a fun twist.
In order to be eligible for the pumpkin carving contest, contestants must bring their carved pumpkins to the chamber at 2 p.m. to register ahead of the 5 p.m. judgment time. The first-place winner in the contest will receive $175 Homer Bucks, with second place receiving $75 and third place following up with $50.
From 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. there will be an opportunity for revelers to get dressed up even more with face paint.
Participants are encouraged to come inside to have hot cider, cookies and kettle corn. They will also have the option to register for the upcoming 5K and costume contest.
At 4 p.m., the Zombie Races will take off. Split into two courses — with a separate, shortened 1K Candy Run for Kids — the Zombie Run offers a spooky 5K course for friends and family to run or walk. Dedicated runners can find the race routes ahead of time on the City of Homer’s official website.
Next up at 5 p.m. is the costume contest, which has prize rewards for the winner.
The fun twist to this year’s contest is that pets are allowed for co-submission — allowing owners to dress up with their pets. Please note: Keep all animals/dogs on a leash at all times if possible.
Categories for the contest include: Cutest, Scariest, Best Celebrity Costume, Funniest, and Best Owner/Pet Look-Alike.
A Haunted Trail will end the night.
With sunset at 6:23 on Saturday, the “Extra Spooky” Haunted Trail should be shrouded in darkness by the time the festival wraps up around 8 p.m.
On Tuesday, the chamber will host its Oct. 31 Pioneer Ave. Trick-Or-Treat.
Starting at the Pratt Museum, trick-or-treaters can visit a series of 49 checkpoints down Pioneer Avenue over the course of two hours, collecting candy and exploring different areas around town along the way, such as KPC and Salvation Army, among many others.
Those looking for an official route for Halloween night, or hoping for more details on the Pioneer Ave. Trick-or-Treat or the Fall Festival can visit the City of Homer’s website under Events and read more.
Saturday, Oct. 28: 2 p.m.-3 p.m. — Register for Pumpkin Carving Contest
3 p.m.-4 p.m. — Register for Zombie Races; Face Painting
4 p.m.-5 p.m. — 1K/5K Zombie Run; Register for Costumes Contest; Self-guided Haunted Trail; Cookie Decorating
5:30 p.m.-6 p.m. — Spooky Story Time
6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Extra Spooky Haunted Trail
Tuesday, Oct. 31: 4 p.m.-6 p.m. — Halloween Pioneer Ave. Trick-or-Treat