Celebrate Halloween at Halloweenfest in Transylvania County, North Carolina

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For many people, the name conjures up images of Dracula and vampire bats. They make the association with the Transylvania in old Rumania, where ghosts and goblins and ghouls stalked the streets and forests after midnight. Folks in Brevard and Transylvania County don't seriously "cotton" to all that lore, but they do have some fun with it when Halloween comes around.

Say it slowly, trilling the "r" and putting a downward inflection of the "va" syllable as your drop your jaw.

For many people, the name conjures up images of Dracula and vampire bats. They make the association with the Transylvania in old Rumania, where ghosts and goblins and ghouls stalked the streets and forests after midnight.

Folks in Brevard and Transylvania County don't seriously "cotton" to all that lore, but they do have some fun with it when Halloween comes around.

During the last week of October, local merchants set a festive mood in their businesses. Your purchases at local stores might be bagged by a clerk dressed as Dracula, Frankenstein or Morticia.

In Brevard, a downtown festival called Halloweenfest kicks off the ghoulish season on Saturday, Oct. 30. Downtown streets will be closed to traffic as residents and visitors celebrate the holiday.

The festival begins with The Flight of the Vampire 5K race at 8 a.m. Advanced registration forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce office by calling 828-883-3700.

The annual costume parade and costume judging will take place starting at 1:15 p.m. followed by trick-or-treating for kids at downtown merchants' businesses. The festival also will feature a children's carnival, crafts, food vendors and a pumpkin carving contest. A pumpkin/apple bake-off will also be held. Area businesses get into the "spirit" of things by participating in the Best Dress Business and Window decorating contests.

The sounds of musicians playing old-time music on banjos, guitars, fiddles, mandolins and dulcimers will fill the air during the annual Music Competition. The competition, held under the gazebo on the Transylvania courthouse lawn, will feature performances by area solo musicians and bands. Downtown will be filled with toe tapping, foot stomping melodies from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Old Time String Band Competition follows at 7 p.m.

During the festival, staff of the Transylvania County chapter of the American Red Cross will dress as vampires and collect blood donations at its bloodmobile.

There are a variety of new additions to this year’s Halloweenfest: a pumpkin bowling competition, a children’s hay maze, a haunted talking wishing well and much more. The evening is capped off with family-oriented Halloween outdoor movies at the Pickelsimer Meadow in downtown Brevard.

The 22nd Annual Halloweenfest is sponsored by The Heart of Brevard, a North Carolina Main Street City Program. For more information about Halloweenfest, call the Heart of Brevard at (828) 884-3278.

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Margaret Trousdale-Woodard
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