Halloween decorations are out and pumpkins have permeated everything from the produce section to morning lattes. Saturday is the first day of autumn and communities all along the U.S. Highway 190 corridor have reasons for residents to get out of the house and enjoy cooler temperatures.
Movie Under the Stars — Sept. 29. Killeen Parks and Recreation and Navy Federal will host a free showing of “Captain America” starting at dusk at the Killeen Community Center Complex, 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd. Activities for children, including bounce houses and face painting, will be available starting at 5:30 p.m.
Barktoberfest — Oct. 6. Dog lovers and owners unite for a dog day at Lions Club Park and the city’s Family Aquatic Center for the third annual Barktoberfest event. Competitions, such as a pooch pageant, are free with on-site registration. An off-leash play area, pet item vendors and demonstrations will be available, and dogs will be welcome to swim. The event is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the park, 1700 E. Stan Schlueter Loop.
Killeen Halloween Carnival — Oct. 31. An All Hallows Eve celebration just for elementary school-aged children and their families. Hosted by the Parks and Rec department at the Special Events Center, the carnival includes a haunted house, treats and more at no charge from 6 to 9 p.m.
Turkey Trot — Nov. 14. Prepare for Thanksgiving with a 5K run. Sign up before the run online for $20, or the day of for $25 at rrptiming.com/2012/11/17/KilleenTurkeyTrot. The Turkey Trot kicks off at 8 a.m. from Long Branch Park Pavilion 1, on Rancier Avenue.
Carnival — Oct. 4-7. The Chamber of Commerce is working to make the carnival at Ogletree Gap an annual occurrence in Copperas Cove. A “downscale” from the Rabbitfest carnival, the event still has the traditional carnival attractions, such as rides, games and food.
Monster Dash — Oct. 27. Harker Heights Parks and Recreation will host a 5K walk/run and 10K run to scare away polio. Registration is $20 until Oct. 19 and $25 from Oct. 20 until the day of the race (on-site registration available).
Kids Safe Halloween Trick or Treat Bash — Oct. 28. For the second year, the Harker Heights Events Center, at 701 Edwards Drive, is hosting a safe trick-or-treat environment for families from 2 to 8 p.m. It is indoors and free to the public. Vendors will be present, and the fire department will have a fire truck and emergency response vehicle on display.
Halloween Hoopla — Oct. 31. The seventh annual city-sponsored hoopla is offered at Carl Levin Park, 400 Miller’s Crossing, as a free alternative or complement to door-to-door trick-or-treating on Halloween night. Activities and games are available to entertain children and families from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
A Day on the Creek — Saturday. Music, vendors and silent auction are all in the plans for an awareness and music event from 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday to raise money for the Nolan Creek Recreational Improvements Project. Musicians will bookend presentations about the plans to renovate Nolan Creek, and adult beverages will be available at the Pavilion on Nolan Creek, 219 East St.
Lone Star Gun Show — Saturday and Sunday. Bell County Expo Center will host a gun show from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Adults are admitted for $6, children 12 and younger get in free. Parking is free.
Fishing for Freedom Bass Tournament — Oct. 19-20. Civilian boaters show their appreciation for service members by teaming up at the seventh annual Fishing for Freedom Bass Tournament on Belton Lake. Currently, almost 400 soldiers and 220 boaters have signed up for the event, which includes a free barbecue dinner on Oct. 19. Participants have the chance to win prizes, including a new boat. For more information, go to fishingforfreedom.org.
Market Days — Oct. 20 and Nov. 17. Market Days take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. the third Saturday of each month in Belton, but when the weather cools off, the activity ramps up. Local and out-of-state vendors set up on Central Avenue to sell their wares while storefronts on the street are open and food vendors are available. On Oct. 20, the event pays homage to fall with Autumn on the Chisholm Trail, featuring extra decorations and children’s activities.
Train Whistle Jamboree — Oct. 6. Food, games, music and fireworks (weather permitting) will be available behind Kay’s Motorcycle Mania from 2 to 9 p.m. The free event features a petting zoo from 2 to 6 p.m., Brian Gowan and the Brett Hendrix Band perform from 5 to 8:30 p.m. and a variety of other attractions. For more information, go to ci.nolanville.tx.us or call (254) 698-6335.
Chocolate and Wine Weekend — Today-Sunday. Experience Texas wines paired with a variety of chocolate in nine events over three days at Salado’s fifth annual Chocolate and Wine Weekend, which includes wine-tasting classes and a variety of musical performances. Lodging information may be found and tickets may be purchased at www.saladochocolatefestival.com.
Christmas in October — Oct. 12-13. Salado Ladies Auxiliary present their annual bake sale fundraiser for Salado High School and Trade School scholarships. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, stop by the Stagecoach Inn Conference Center Robertson Room for $2 admission to browse and purchase homemade treats.
Tablerock’s Fright Trail — Oct. 27-28. From dusk until the witching hour (or 10 p.m.), visit the creepy side of Tablerock on Royal Street as a guide leads groups through scenes from works such as Macbeth, Dracula and Frankenstein, among others, according to Tablerock’s website. Children are admitted for $3 while adults are admitted for $5. Concessions will be available.
Historic Art Fair — Oct. 27-28. Along the banks of Salado Creek in Pace Park, browse the 46th annual Historic Art Fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, free for children age 12 and younger. Applications for a spot in the fair must be turned in by Sept. 28 and can be accessed at www.salado.com/calendar/files/2012 Art Fair Application.pdf.
Harvest Celebration Weekend — Sept. 28-30. The Vineyard at Florence hosts musicians, stone carving, an art festival and more during its three-day Harvest Celebration. For a full schedule and more information, go to www.thevineyardatflorence.com.
Lampasas County Wine Tour — Oct. 8. Tickets for the charter bus tour of four Lampasas wineries have sold fast. As of Thursday, only seven $45 tickets remained at the chamber. The wine tour departs the Chamber of Commerce, 205 U.S. Highway 281, at 11 a.m. and is scheduled to return around 5 p.m. For tickets, call the chamber at (512) 556-5172.
Herb and Art Festival — Oct. 13. Fine arts, crafts, herbal gardening, cooking and therapy meet with children’s activities and live entertainment at Lampasas’ 18th annual Herb and Art Festival in the city’s historic Downtown Square. There is no charge to enter the festival, which runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Vendors interested in participating should call the chamber at (512) 556-5172.
Hunter’s Welcome — Nov. 2. The Chamber of Commerce welcomes local hunters with a $6 sack lunch packed with a barbecue sandwich, chips, cookie and drink. Meet in the H-E-B parking lot, 705 S. Key Ave., between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. for the annual event.
Halloween Boozaar on the Square — Oct. 27. All ages are welcome to attend the Halloween activities in the downtown Gatesville Square from 6 to 8 p.m. There is no admission to get in, trick-or-treating is available at participating businesses, and a variety of activities and food vendors will also be available.