There is - finally - a chill in the air and the leaves are starting to change into vibrant oranges, yellows and reds. Autumn is here and with it harvest and Halloween activities for young and old. The following are just a few of the local events happening this month:
• The CSU Stanislaus Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society is hosting a Spooktacular Book Drive. The book drive runs through Oct. 27 and children's books may be brought to the Vasche Library Circulation Desk at the CSU Stanislaus Turlock campus. CSU Stanislaus Village Residential Life will be hosting a Halloween Gala from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Oct. 31 at the CSU Stanislaus dorms. Children who come trick-or-treating will receive Halloween treats and a new book.
• Chatom Elementary School will be holding a Halloween carnival from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 22. There will be an auction, 25 cent games, activity booths and food for sale. There will be a costume parade at 4 p.m. The event will be held at 7201 Clayton Rd.
• The Turlock Downtown Property Owner's Association, along with the Kiwanis, Lions and Alpha Xi Delta, will be hosting a Halloween event at Centennial Park on Main Street in Turlock. The event will be held from noon to 6 p.m. on Oct. 31. There will be a haunted maze hosted by Turlock Kiwanis and Lions clubs, a carnival with free candy and games hosted by Alpha Xi Delta, and tick-or-treating at downtown businesses.
• Sonora: The All Hallows Fantasy Faire will mix the ancient beliefs of the Celtic Tribes of Ireland with the more modern traditions of Halloween. The event will include music, dancers, giants, jugglers, magicians, fire-eaters and a fire breathing dragon. The Fantasy Village of Fun will feature art, crafts and food. The All Hallows Fantasy Faire is designed for all ages. Participants are encouraged to dress in costume. The event will be held on Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora. Tickets purchased in advance will be $12 for adults, $5 for children ages 5 to 12, and kids under 5 are free. For tickets visit www.allhallowsfaire.com.
• Half Moon Bay: The 38th Annual World Championship Pumpkin Weight-off will be held on Monday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the I.D.E.S Grounds, 734 Main St., Half Moon Bay. A $5,000 prize will be given to any grower who can set a new record. The current record is 1,810.5 pounds. For more weigh-off information call 650-726-3491. The weight off will kick-off the Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 15 and 16.
• The Society for Handicapped Children and Adults will host a Red Carpet Masquerade Ball fundraiser on Oct. 22 at Galletto Ristorante in downtown Modesto. The event will feature fine dining, wine, live and silent auctions, exclusive poker tournament, dancing and entertainment. Enjoy food stations throughout the evening with a passed course menu set to begin at 7 p.m. and a hosted wine bar from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Texas Hold-em poker tournament will begin at 7 p.m. with a $50 buy-in.
Tickets are $150 each. Formal attire and mask encouraged.
For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.societyforhandicapped.org/special-events/the-gala.php or call 524-3536.
• Modesto Junior College will hold a Halloween Carnival at 2 p.m. on Oct. 29 at the MJC West Campus. There will be food, fun, and prizes for all ages. Admission is free. Music, costume and pie eating contests, face painting and games will be held for the kids. There will be food for sale and fun for the whole family.
• Lathrop: Dell'Osso Family Farm is holding their annual corn maze and pumpkin patch daily until Oct. 31. This year's maze is NASA themed. New to Dell'Osso Farms is a haunted house, cowboy show, mystery tour, and plank walk. The farm is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The 5th Annual Scarecrow contest awards will be held at 3 p.m. on Oct. 31. For more information visit www.pumpkinmaze.com.
• Patterson: The 9th annual Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch will be open from now until Oct. 31. The corn mazes cover approximately 25 acres and include over 5 miles of paths. Within the mazes are 12 hidden checkpoints. A haunted maze will be open every Friday and Saturday night in October, from 7 p.m. until closing. Flashlights are required. Hours for the regular maze are Fridays 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Located at 2665 Sperry Ave., Patterson.