From city celebrations at Marathon Community Park to a film premiere and a costume contest that are both charity fundraisers, the calendar is full of Halloween activities, some as early as Thursday, Oct. 22. Here are highlights.

City celebrates halloween 3 ways

Costume Contest*
City of Marathon Parks and Recreation presents a “Trick or Treat Spooktacular Costume Contest” on Thursday, Oct. 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. It will be held at Marathon Community Park and will feature candy, toys and crafts. This is a drive-through event and kids will only get out of the car long enough to have their costumes assessed, so come dressed to impress. For more information, call 305-743-6598.

Halloween Hunt
The city is also putting on a Halloween Hunt from Monday to Friday, Oct. 26-30. Every day that week there will be a Halloween object at a different city park. The person who finds the object should bring it to the City of Marathon parks office (at Community Park) for a “freak-tastic” award such as gift certificates to local pizza and ice cream shops. There’s no need to register, but watch Facebook for the daily clue on where to hunt. 

Drive-Through Halloween*
This is officially a Zonta Club function, but it’s being held at Marathon Community Park. The youngest little boos are invited to a drive-thru Halloween party on Saturday, Oct. 31 from 5 to 7 p.m. Local organizations will line the route through the park with tents and hand out treats to little outstretched hands emerging from cars. For more information about the event, call Erin at 305-481-0367. 

*All drive-through events begin on the east side of Marathon Community Park near the skate park and exit on the west side near the basketball courts. 

Gulfside Village ‘trunk or treat’
Merchants at Gulfside Village, 5800 Overseas Highway, will hold trick-or-treat from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. Participants are encouraged to  wear costumes and asked to wear a mask. Tables with treats will be set up in front of stores. 

Trick or treating  behind the airport

Halloween 2020 Behind the Airport (BTA) is going to be special: it’s the first chance for community fun in quite a while, it will be a full moon and the clocks fall back on the same night. 

The first rule of Halloween 2020 is to follow the friendly officers’ traffic directions.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office will be bringing back the Halloween plan they know works: a one-way circuit around the neighborhood behind the airport, with central streets closed to vehicular traffic. 

On Halloween — Saturday, Oct. 31 — visitors to the neighborhood will enter on Dolphin Drive, circle around to Gulfstream Boulevard and exit on Harbor Drive. There will be no parking on the bike path on Aviation Boulevard.

“There will be cones — so many cones — set up so that there is one lane for vehicular traffic and one lane where everyone can walk safely,” said MCSO Capt. Don Hiller. “Our priority is everyone’s safety.”

A word of caution: the trick or treaters and revelers should find a way to social distance and wear a mask.

Film premiere set for Halloween weekend

Okay, this isn’t strictly a Halloween event, but it’s close enough. Locals can have a sneak peek of the feature-length film “Marathon After Midnight” on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 30-31 at the outdoor seating at Herbie’s, 6530 Overseas Highway. The film has lots of gothic touches that are certainly spooky. 

Organizers are honoring tickets that were previously sold. Ticket-holders will have priority seating if they arrive before 6:30 p.m. At 6:30 p.m. everyone can choose a seat at a table, and drinks and food will be sold and served in the socially distanced setup. The rest of the tickets will be sold at the door (no advance sales). Masks are required when not seated at a table. 

In the event both nights sell out, Herbie’s will show the movie again the following weekend. The movie is “G” rated and is a fundraiser for Forgotten Felines and the Marathon High School boys athletics program. There will be a showing of the “director’s cut” on Feb. 13, 2021 at the Marathon Garden Club. 

‘Boo Bash’ raises funds for Christmas
Havana Jack’s is throwing its annual Boo Bash costume contest and Halloween Party on Friday, Oct. 30 to benefit local charity Presents in Paradise. Located at Glunz Ocean Beach Resort at 401 E. Ocean Drive in Key Colony Beach, the event starts at 7 p.m., with the costume contest beginning at 8 p.m.

“We made Christmas happen for more than 340 kids last year,” said Sarah Brawer, founder of Presents. “We might have somewhere between 500 and 700 kids to serve this year, and we really need some help from the community.”

The contest will be judged by a panel of local celebrities and dignitaries. There will be live music with John Bartus, who will also be the MC for the contest. There will be prizes for winners, as well as a chance at raffles including a 50-50 raffle. 

“The Boo Bash has been a real fun event,” Bartus said. “I’ve been one of the judges in past years, and I can attest there are some great costumes!”

The contest will take place under the outdoor tiki with masks and proper social distancing protocols observed.


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