Haunted Halloween Happenings in Hancock
It’s going to be a BOO-tiful Halloween in the Bay and beyond, and there are lots of activities for frightful fun, including a new parade!
- Story by Dena Temple, photos by Ellis Anderson
Be on hand as marchers, decorated golf carts, classic cars and Jeeps toss candy and trinkets along the long parade route, which starts at the Depot, heads to the beach, snakes east to DeMontluzin Avenue, up Second and eventually back to the Depot. (See the diagram for the exact route.)
After the parade, Dan B's will host a "Monster Mash" for participants.
Drivers and passengers must be in costume, and vehicles should also be decorated. Prizes will be awarded for best adult male and female costume, best child boy girl costume, and best decorated unit. Costumes must be family-friendly.
A special announcement came from Brooklynn Ladner, who is the dance instructor for Our Lady Academy (along with faculty member Theresa St. Mary) and the owner of the Arabesque School of Dance.
“We’re happy to announce that the OLA Crescents Dance Team will perform in public for the first time in the Krewe of BOO in the Bay parade!” she said. “They hope to perform in other parades in the future, but this will be their first. The girls are very excited.”
Gayle Adams added, "A lot of people helped get this event off the ground, including Mike and Sissy Favre, and Nate and Mandy Smith. We owe them a debt of gratitude for all they've done."
Nate Smith created the artwork for the parade based on van Gogh's iconic "Starry Night," with a fun BSL twist. "Adding the iconic Bay St. Louis street light seemed like a natural fit," said Nate's wife, Mandy.
Nate and Mandy will be distributing commemorative prints and T-shirts at the Depot to collect donations for The Children's Center for Communication and Development at USM. With locations in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, the organization provides communicative and developmental services for infants, toddlers and preschoolers in the six southern counties of Mississippi.
If you would like to participate in the parade with your own vehicle, click here for an entry form. Registration forms must be postmarked by October 19 and mailed to the address on the form. Registration forms can also be dropped off in person no later than October 23 at Quality Custom Carts, 1170 US Highway 90 in Bay St. Louis, with the required registration fee. No new registrations will be accepted the day of the event.
As the Krewe of BOO in the Bay says on their Facebook event page, come on out and “Get your BOO on!”
(PLEASE NOTE: The previously reported Trunk or Treat event at the harbor has been cancelled.)
The same weekend, October 23-25, is the 2020 edition of Bay St. Louis’s Witches Weekend. This charity event has been steadily growing in popularity, and in its fifth year (2019) over 400 witches donned their pointy hats, grabbed their favorite brooms and took part in the fun.
This year’s event is expected to be more modest, but several hundred people are still expected to attend. Although most organized events are not being held this year due to health considerations, witches and witch wanna-bees are still encouraged to don their witchy-est wardrobe, grab their conjurer gal-pals and enjoy the weekend visiting the shops and restaurants in Old Town, to get into the Halloween spirit. Many will be offering specials all weekend for the “witches,” and of course, all witches are encouraged to wear a mask and “stay a broomstick’s length apart!”
Witches Weekend participants will join the Krewe of BOO in the Bay parade on Saturday evening when the parade reaches the beach. Anyone wishing to participate should meet at 5:30 pm at the Daiquiri Shak on Court Street. Witches who want to enter a golf cart should follow the standard registration outlined above.
Old Town Trick or Treat
On Saturday October 31, The Arts, Hancock County, in conjunction with the Old Town Merchants Association and the BSL Creative Arts Center, will be screen printing trick-or-treat bags. For a $10 donation, kids can design and print their own custom trick-or-treat bag, then walk the Old Town Historic District and collect treats from participating businesses with a pumpkin out front. A teal pumpkin indicates that the goodies inside are allergy and sensory friendly!
The event will be held 3 - 5 pm. Children must be accompanied by a parent. Look for the bag kiosk on the corner of Main and Second Streets.
Also around town, a Misfits Trunk or Treat will be held at The Depot at 5 pm, and traditional trick-or-treating on Demontluzin Street also begins at 5 pm.
Mini Haunted Trail on Carroll
Free ‘mini’ haunted trail on Halloween night from 6pm - 9pm at 304 Carroll Ave. Kids of all ages are welcome to come and get spooked. Treats will be handed out with adult beverages for the grown-ups (if you dare to enter). Walk on over after the Old Town trick or treating!
Misfits Trunk or Treat
Also around town on October 31, a Misfits Trunk or Treat will be held at The Depot at 5 pm, and traditional trick-or-treating on Demontluzin Street also begins at 5 pm.
Waveland's Halloween Bash
Finally, no listing of the area’s Halloween festivities would be complete without including Waveland’s Halloween Bash. The event will be held 4-6 pm (please note time change) Saturday, October 31 on Coleman Avenue and will include “tricks, treats, a haunted house and many other surprises,” said Jeremy Burke, Waveland city alderman. Young and old alike are encouraged to wear costumes (nothing too scary; this is for the kids) and of course, wear a mask for safety. See this month’s What’s Up Waveland column for more information.
Postponed: Cedar Rest Cemetery Tour
One long-standing and very popular event that will not be held this Halloween season is the Hancock County Historical Society’s Cemetery Tour. The annual event, which has been held at the Cedar Rest Cemetery for the past 25 years, started as a neighborhood watch to ward off Halloween vandalism and evolved into a full-fledged tour complete with stories about some of Bay St. Louis’s past residents, as told by costumed guides in character.
In past years the tours drew hundreds of participants, but organizers felt that, in the wake of the pandemic, it was not safe for the public to gather for the tour. No date has been announced yet but the group is considering a spooky spring tour instead.
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