Fall fun abounds in Cumberland County

12 01 d0279a870e17b863288a00370f95dc227b3b4adbFall is in the air, and with it comes a bevy of activities ranging from hayrides and pumpkin patches to haunted trails and houses and even zombie-related events. Here are some favorites you won’t want to miss.

The Poe House at the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex may have a few skeletons in its closets. Come find out Oct. 23-25 as the museum partners with Gilbert Theater for the eight season of “Hallowe’en Revels: Night Tours of the 1897 Poe House.” This year’s theme is “invoking spirits.”  Call 910-500-4240 for more information.

Maybe the Poe House isn’t the only local dwelling with ghostly visitors. The Sandford House at Heritage Square in downtown Fayetteville is said to have spirits with unfinished businesses lurking in its halls. Through Oct. 31, join Q98, Magic 106.9, Rock 103 and WFNC along with the Association of Paranormal Study to investigate Hauntings at Heritage Square. Participants in each tour will be provided ghost hunting equipment for the event. Tours last about 90 minutes. Call 910-401-9857 for tickets and information.

12 02 Zombie WalkIf you’ve never been to a Zombie Walk or a Zombie Prom, head downtown Oct. 25. In addition to 4th Friday festivities, prepare for a zombie invasion. It’s open to everyone. The Zombie Walk preparty starts at 6 p.m. at Headquarters Library on Maiden Lane. There will be music, face painting, costume contests and more. Johnny Awesome will be the master of ceremonies and will conduct the walk and will be the MC until participants leave for the official Zombie Prom After Party at The Tap House, which is next door to Huske Hardware. The Zombie Walk starts at 8 p.m. — only those dressed as zombies will be part of the street walk. There will also be three bands, The Answers, KEYSE and The Sherman Neckties. Search Fayetteville Zombie Walk & Prom 2019 Downtown of Facebook for more information.

If you are looking for something more low key to do on Oct. 25, check out the The All-American City Jazz Festival: Beach and Shag Music at Festival Park. The jazz festival runs through Oct. 27 and includes local as well as nationally renowned performers. Call 910-987-2426 to learn more.

 Halloween at the Boo-tanical Garden is the perfect family-friendly event for the younger set. Oct. 25-27, the Cape Fear Botanical Garden welcomes families to come and trick or treat throughout the garden and enjoy hayrides and lawn games. Visit capefearbg.org for details.

The Stoney Point Trail of Terror is a hair-raising tradition for many in the area. Through Nov. 2, venture into the darkness at the rear of the Stoney Point Fire Department property for an experience that 12 03 N1404P17013Cincludes state-of-the-art sound, lighting and environmental effects and live actors determined to scare even the most stoic of visitors. Other events at the Stoney Point FD include a Zombie Rampage. Load up your paintball marker and take on the field of zombies as they come you. A more child-friendly event is the Trail of Candy. This takes place during daylight hours Saturday, Oct. 26 from noon until 2 p.m. Bring the kids, enjoy a costume contest, trick or treating, concessions and more. Call 910-424-0694 to learn more.

Gallberry Corn Maze is one of several local mazes. Through Nov. 3, guests can enjoy 12 acres of nothing but fun. There are nearly 20 attractions designed to keep the entire family engaged —  farm animals, pig racing, hayrides, a jumping pillow, bouncy ball corral, corn hole, Spookley the Square Pumpkin barn, covered picnic area, a giant corn shack, pony lasso, barrel train rides, photo ops, double barrel tube slide, a fire pit, fantastic food, hay mountain, air cannons and much more. Find out more at gallberrycornmaze.com.

Dirtbag Ales and Rogue Alpha Athletics will host the Dirtbag Ales Halloween Beer Mile Oct. 26 at Dirtbag Ales Brewery and Taproom from 5-8 p.m. Come in your best Halloween costume and run, jog, walk, crawl the 1 mile-ish course and enjoy four 10-ounce beers from Dirtbag Ales brewery. Participants must be 21 or older to drink beer. Search the Dirtbag Ales Halloween Beer Mile on Facebook for details.

Trick or treat at the Poe House Oct. 26 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. While you are there, search for ravens in the Poe House, play old-fashioned games, listen to a Halloween story and enjoy a free concert. Joy the Clown will be there, too, performing magic tricks. And don’t miss the costume contest, too. Admission is free. Call 910-500-4240 to learn more.

Arnette Park will host a Fall Festival and Trunk or Treat Saturday, Oct. 26, from 4-6 p.m.  Enjoy food, candy, games, face painting, and inflatables for children. The event is hosted by Sapona Road Church. Find out more at https://www.saponaroadchurch.com. Everything is free, but registration is requested.
12 04 Halloween
Count Dracula’s Livery and Carriage Services will be downtown Oct. 31 to offer Perfectly Horrible Carriage Rides to kids and their families from 3-8 p.m. Dracula’s carriage, pulled by horses black as death, will rumble over the brick-paved streets of old downtown for a heart-stopping ride. Photo ops with the count are part of the adventure, so come in your best costume. Call 910-286-3979 to make reservations. Tickets cost $5 for children under 10 and $10 for adults. 



12 05 Trick or Treat at the Poe House 2018



Boo-tanical Garden offers family-friendly Halloween fun

  11 Boo tanical arborTricks and treats await Halloween fans at the family-friendly Boo-tanical Garden event coming to Cape Fear Botanical Garden Oct. 25-27. Each night from 6-9 p.m., guests can enjoy a haven of all things Halloween. Costumes? Check. Fun and games? Check. Candy? Check. Check.

   Now in its fifth year, Boo-tanical Garden is a highly anticipated event for those wishing to expand the Halloween season beyond a one-day calendar celebration. The festival is one way, according to CFBG Director of Events and Marketing Sheila Hanrick, “to get your Halloween going before the actual day.”

 “Boo-tanical is for all ages — children, adults, families and individuals,” she said. “This year, we are offering the same community favorites such as the Boo-tanical holiday lights and trick-or-treat stations throughout the garden, but also some new activities our guests are sure to enjoy.”

Candy stations are scattered throughout the nearly 16 acres of the garden proper lit with the Halloween colors of orange, purple, green and white found among garden flora and in the form of themed light sculptures. The warm glow of some 300 jack-o-lanterns, both friendly and frightful, will light up the Cypress Pond lawn.

The fright factor is small, said Hanrick, emphasizing the child-friendliness of Boo-tanical. However, “any time it is Halloween, you have to have a little bit of fright going on,” she said.

The smidgen of spookiness can be seen in the Boo-Crew skeleton vignettes, courtesy of Fayetteville Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. Guests may find one of the Boo Crew planting flowers, weeding a garden bed, jumping rope or even fishing off the pond pier. They will be up to all kinds of mischief, said Hanrick, no bones about it.

Friendly animated monsters will guide children in the Monster Bash dance on the garden’s Great Hall lawn. Singing pumpkins and friendly ghosts continue the animation action, with songs and skits galore. The children’s play area features lawn games, a hay bale maze and a giant tunnel slide built from hay bales. A tractor-pulled hayride around the Great Lawn completes the heyday of outdoor fun.

Indoors the excitement continues with educational activities sponsored by Fayetteville Academy. Guests will learn about odd “monsters” in nature through hands-on lessons and touch boxes. They can meet CFBG’s eastern king snake, Duke, and eastern box turtle, Carlos. Face painting and balloon-animal making round out the inside fun.

Don’t miss the festival fare, either. Boss Ross Dogs will be serving up hot dogs and sausages all evening, along with Nothin’ Fancy funnel cakes and the Pretty Stickie company’s candy and gourmet apples, and custom cookies. Find more food offerings at the newly opened garden cafe, including soups, salads and sandwiches.

Tickets for Boo-tanical Garden can be purchased at the door each night. Tickets are $9 for garden members, $11 for nonmembers, $5 for children aged 2-12 and are free for children under 2. The event is weather dependent, so if in doubt, check the garden’s Facebook or website before heading out. For out more at https://www.capefearbg.org/.

Comic Con: If it’s geek, we got it

37 powOn Oct. 19 and 20, the Crown Complex in Fayetteville will become the center of the geek universe with the Fayetteville Comic Con. Creators Michael Chaudhuri and Keith Gibbs are serious about living up to the theme, “If It’s Geek, We Got It!” This will be the fifth year of Fayetteville’s Comic Con. It will be a weekend full of all things geek, and all you need to do is show up. Everything from food to collectibles will make this weekend one worth spending at the Fayetteville Comic Con.

UCW: What made you guys decide to do this in Fayetteville?

FCC: We started this five years ago, and it was a one-day event. That first Comic Con, we had 8,500 people. We just knew then that Fayetteville really needed something like this, and we felt like they deserve it.
Plus, for anyone visiting from out of town, we are giving them a reason to stay overnight in Fayetteville. One of our guests, Jack Stauffer — a veteran of TV and musical theater and a star in Battlestar Galactica — will perform an 80-minute cabaret show on the 19th from 9-11 p.m. at the Holiday Inn West Fort Bragg in Fayetteville. People can purchase tickets in advance for that, or at the door.

UCW: For those that maybe don’t know, what’s the fascination with Comic Con?

FCC: Comic books are the seed to all things pop-culture. They all tie into a graphic representation of an idea, which often led to an illustrated nonfiction book or other written works. And, as we know today, even television shows and movies are based on comic books. In fact, we have a great line-up of sci-fi fantasy writers that come to our show every year that have panels where people can talk to them. There are topics about exploring paranormal fiction, how to write good, believable military fiction. The list goes on.

UCW: What can people look forward to if they’re coming to Comic Con this year?

FCC: We have 140 vendors, 80 craftspeople, DJ Clash from Winston Salem, GEEK Speed dating, aerialists and sword fighting. And of course, we will have Cosplay contests and Cosplay lip sync battles. But wait, we also have belly dancing, comedy with Tyler Wood, Game of Throne Tribute Band, tabletop gaming, video games and motion capture demonstrations. Plus, we have numerous panels of different celebrities and writers. And if that’s still not enough, we will have live tattooing.

We also have some great guests. For example, if you’re a “Star Wars” fan, you’ll be glad to know we have Colin Cantwell, who designed the Tie Fighter, x-wing fighter and co-designed the Death Star, here. There’s also Eric “Butterbean” Esch, a major icon of boxing during the 1990s, plus wrestling, kickboxing, MMA, and even his own geek style of writing. Plus, any “Harry Potter” fans will remember this name — Gregory Goyle. That’s right, Josh Herdman is all grown up and is now an MMA fighter, plus he is in the “Robin Hood” movie that came out last year. Josh is flying in just to attend our Comic Con.

Maybe you’re a “Stranger Things” or “Guardians of the Galaxy” fan. Actor John Jacob Anderson, who was in both, will be here to chat with our guests, and he’ll be moderating the G.I. Joe panel. If you’re interested in voice-over artists, we have them, too. Dameon Clarke is returning for his second time to our Comic Con. You’ll recognize Dameon’s voice from “Dragon Ball Z” as Cell. He’s also been a live actor in shows such as “Supernatural” and “Castle.” But he’s not our only “Dragon Ball Z” voice-over artist; we also have Stephanie Nadolny, who does the voices of Young Goku and Young Gohan. Plus, she provides the voices for several other well-known animated series. This will be her first year in Fayetteville.

We also have Power Rangers, such as Tracy Lynn Cruz and Michael Copon. Comic book creators, such as Larry Hama, Al Milgrom, Troy Little, Paris Cullins, Gary Cohn, Brian Shearer, Louis Small, Jr., Dan Johnson, Rodney Bennett, Budd Root. We will have a “Walking Dead” reunion with actors William Bell and Gregory French. We have cosplay actors Mick Grimes and Rocky Melvin. And finally, authors such as Chris Kennedy, Alex Rath and Frank Bennett. We literally have something for everyone!

We don’t run your usual type of Comic Con. We break that wall that make our guests accessible. Our guests, celebrities included, love to come to our shows so they can interact with the fans. We make a point to not just put everyone behind a table and try to make you buy an autograph or get your picture taken, every one of our guests has at least one panel or curated interview on the main stage.

We will also have raffles and door prizes. In fact, Sunday, we will have a grand raffle. The price is only $15 for one day or $25 for the whole weekend. And next year, we’ll be hosting it in April and October. We hope everyone comes out to our fan-run, family-friendly, two-day, comic book and pop-culture based extravaganza.

Find out more at http://www.fayettevillecomiccon.com/.

Givens Performing Arts Center presents Cirque Mei

09 01 Cirque Mei6Founded in 1976 and hailing from People’s Republic of China, Hebei Province, Cirque Mei is set to take the stage at Givens Performing Arts Center in Pembroke Oct. 27. The world-renowned group has performed internationally and recently appeared on an episode of “The Ellen Show.”

In its entirety, the company is made up of 130 performers. The performance at GPAC features 40 of the elite circus artists and acrobats, who will perform popular routines, including hoops diving, lion dance, collective bicycle skills, flying meteors, foot juggling with umbrellas, female contortion and a ladder balancing act.

Givens promises traditional and contemporary Chinese circus acts in a colorful and lively celebration of the internationally renowned Chinese circus arts.

Cirque Mei blends ancient artistry with high energy for a non-stop extravaganza of family entertainment. With 30 elite circus artists and countless acrobats and stunts, Cirque Mei thrills young and old alike with their feats of agility, strength and poise.

“This is not just a circus act, it’s a real cultural experience,” said James Bass, executive director of Givens Performing Arts Center. “This is not just a Chinese acrobat performance. This show contains a lot of traditional Chinese circus artistry, and so while it is amazing to see, it also exposes audiences to some of the glorious performing arts of Asia.”

Tickets range from $10 for children under 12 to $36 and can be purchased online at uncp.edu/gpactickets or by calling the box office at 910-521-6361.

09 02 Cirque Mei2If you can’t make this show, there are still exciting performances in the season lineup, including the UNCP Holiday Extravaganza, which is set for Nov. 22. The Nutcracker Ballet follows on Nov. 24.

Established in 1887 as a normal school to train American Indian teachers, UNC Pembroke today has an enrollment of more than 7,600 in 41 undergraduate and 17 graduate programs. UNCP is a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina System.

For information about tickets and the full season lineup, visit uncp.edu/gpac or call 910-521-6361. Some shows on the season will also carry an option for the Act I Diner’s pre-show dinners. Call or check the website for dates.'

Cirque Mei promises an evening of lively entertainment at Givens Performing Arts Center.

09 03 Cirque Mei3

Don’t miss Hallowe’en Revels at Museum of the Cape Fear

11 Trick or Treat at the Poe House 2018 Joy the Clown The Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex presents Hallowe’en Night Tours of the 1897 Poe House Wednesday, Oct. 23-Friday, Oct. 25, from 6-10 p.m.

“The Hallowe’en Revels Night Tours is our annual Halloween night program that we do with the Gilbert Theater,” said Megan Maxwell, 1897 Poe House education coordinator  of the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex. “We have actors come in, and they portray members of the Poe Family and their friends.”

 Maxwell added this is not like a typical Poe House tour that you get during regular hours because you are seeing a short Halloween play. “We have a different theme every year, and this year’s theme is ‘Invoking the Spirit,’ so we want people to join us for a spirited visit to the 1897 Poe House,” said Maxwell.

“We are going to have a few ghosts in the house this year, so it will be a little bit different from what we have done in past years. Our event is family-friendly, so it won’t be a spooky scary haunted house.

 “All of our fall events are paid for by a grant from The Arts Council. Our foundation has to match that grant,” said Maxwell. “This is part of that grant match, and it pays for programming that we do in the fall, which includes both of these Halloween events coming up.”

 Trick or Treat at the Poe House will be held Saturday, Oct. 26, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

“Trick or Treat is our fun event that we do for the little kids, and we encourage families and kids to come out in their costumes,” said Maxwell. “We do have a costume contest that we run as part of that event. There is a $1 entry fee to enter the costume contest.”

Creative, historical and handmade costumes are encouraged. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place. The event is free and open to the public.

 The event also features the Sandbox Band from the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area.  “They are a kid’s band, and they play a lot of fun music for kids. They will play some Halloween songs as well,” said Maxwell. “They will have three performances that day at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.”

 Maxwell added the event includes Joy the Clown, who will be doing balloon-twisting and magic tricks. Cumberland County Library will have Halloween stories, and there will be old-fashioned carnival games in the backyard. Concessions will be sold.

 Tickets for the Hallowe’en Night Tours can be purchased online for $5 plus processing fees at www.museumofthecapefear.yapsody.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the museum.
For more information call 910-500-4240.

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