Boys and girls all along U.S. Highway 190 are gearing up for the year’s spookiest evening, and organizations are working to provide safety and entertainment on and around Halloween.
In Killeen, elementary school-aged children and their families can go to the Special Events Center to enjoy a carnival, explore a haunted house and collect a variety of treats from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 31. The city’s parks and recreation department hosts the carnival at no charge to participants.
Central Texas College will host its annual haunted house and Fall Carnival at the Student Center (Building 106) from 6 to 11 p.m. Oct. 26 and 27. Campus clubs and organizations decorate rooms throughout the center for participants to tour. Admission is $5 per person and carnival games start at 50 cents each. Tickets may be purchased at the door, with 10 percent of proceeds going to the CTC Foundation Scholarship Program, and other proceeds funding community service projects. Save ticket stubs for a discount on the planetarium’s Friday Family Fun Fest’s Halloween-themed laser light shows, karaoke, costume contests and more.
Grace United Methodist Church in Copperas Cove received a shipment of pumpkins for their Fall Festival, but will keep them available until Halloween or they run out. The church is at 101 W. Avenue F and the patch will be open for business from about 11 a.m. to dusk every day.
On Oct. 27, Copperas Cove will host a Safe Trick or Treat event for families at the city park on Avenue B from 6 to 8 p.m.
First United Methodist Church of Killeen also has a pumpkin patch at 601 E. Farm-to-Market 2410 in Harker Heights. From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 7 p.m. on Sundays, residents may peruse thousands of pumpkins to select their perfect jack-o-lantern candidate or authentic fall decor pieces. The patch is open for business through the end of October, or when all pumpkins are sold.
Also in Harker Heights, two organizations will host trick-or-treat alternatives. The Harker Heights Events Center at 701 Edwards Drive will host the Kids Save Halloween Trick or Treat Bash, an indoor trick-or-treat event from 2 to 8 p.m. Oct. 28. Vendors will be available, as well as the fire department, which will provide a fire truck and emergency response vehicle for display.
On Halloween night, Harker Heights will host its seventh annual Halloween Hooplah at Carl Levin Park, at 400 Miller’s Crossing. Activities and games, as well as trick-or-treating, will be offered to entertain children and families from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at no charge.
Moving further east, Belton will host their fall-specific Market Day on Central Avenue. Autumn on the Chisholm Trail features extra decorations and children’s activities to celebrate the season, along with their usual array of local and out of state vendors set up along the street from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
South on Interstate 35, Salado’s Halloween Fright Trail will be available from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Oct. 27 and 28. Participants can tour the creepy side of Tablerock on Royal Street as a guide leads groups through scenes from works such as Macbeth, Dracula, Frankenstein, Grimm’s Fairy Tales and more. Children admission is $3 and adults are $5. Go to www.tablerock.org for more information.
Gatesville will be in on the Halloween action with its annual Halloween Boozaar on the Square on Oct. 27. Trick-or-treating will be available at participating businesses, and all ages are welcome to the admission-free event running from 6 to 8 p.m.