Halloween is quickly approaching, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate. We rounded up a few of the free ones, so you can spend your money on your costume instead of on tickets.
Immediately following Halloween is Día de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday that celebrates the memories of loved ones who have passed away. For those unfamiliar with the holiday, know that it's a day of celebration, colorful altars and amazing food. We found a few free festivals celebrating the holiday around town as well.
Ghostly Stories with Marshall Shore
Arizona Humanities is channeling one of your favorite childhood memories this week, but with an Arizona twist. On Tuesday, October 27, Marshall Shore will do what he does best and share some of the Valley's spookiest ghost tales around a campfire. In addition to the chilling historical tales, there will be snacks and a costume contest. All ages are welcome. Get your free tickets and more information at Arizona Humanities' website.
Four Peaks Pumpkin Carving Project
If you've managed to find your calling in sculpting images in various squashes, then Friday, October 30, is one of the few chances you will probably ever get to show that talent off — let alone be awarded with beer. From 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe will host a pumpkin-carving contest. Judges will award the Best Pumpkin in Show with a quarter barrel of Double Pumpkin imperial porter and the carver of the most creative pumpkin wins a quarter barrel of his or her choice of Four Peaks brew. Bring your pumpkin masterpiece to the brewery by between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Judging, which is done by the friendly drinkers present, will wrap up by 8:40 p.m. The judges will announce the winners at 9 p.m. Note that pumpkins must be carved before you bring them to Four Peaks. Visit the event's Facebook page for more information.
Día de los Muertos by Puente
The Puente Human Rights Movement is organizing a Día de los Muertos festival for Friday, October 30, that will feature art, music, food, low riders, and the altars that are traditionally decorated on the Mexican holiday. From 4 to 9 p.m., guests can learn about the history of the holiday as well as experience some of the cultural festivities that go along with it. The festival will be held at Puente's main building at 1937 W. Adams Street. More information can be found at the event's Facebook page.
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Outdoor Halloween Movie by LGBT Center
Enjoy a free outdoor showing of a true 1990s classic when the Phoenix Pride LGBT Center hosts its Halloween Spooktacular on Saturday, October 31. Bring the whole family, including pets, to the Pride Center on Second Avenue downtown for a special screening of Hocus Pocus. There will also be a costume contest, with awards going to the best kid's costume, most creative costume, scariest costume, and best pet costume. The event is scheduled at the Pride Center from 6 to 8 p.m., and the movie starts shortly after sunset. Popcorn and refreshments will be available. Check out the event's Facebook page for more information.
Ghouls Night Out at Cornish Pasty Co.
The Maple-Ash-Farmer-Wilson Neighborhood is hosting a late-night dance party on Halloween night at The Cornish Pasty Co. in Tempe, and you're invited. DJs include Bunny von Lau, A Claire Slattery, and Jacque Bernatt; Stoney Pie will provide the music. There will also be drinks, makeup booths, costume contests, and a photo booth (so you can prove you did something cool on Halloween). The party is scheduled to run from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Check the event's Facebook page for more information.
Happy Halloweenie Dog Costume Contest at Short Leash Sit ... Stay
Nobody loves dogs more than the folks over at Short Leash, and they're celebrating Halloween the best way they know how this year: with a dog costume contest. The first annual event will feature a red carpet and different categories of costume contests. Guests can also look forward to drink specials and Halloween snacks. So if you love to dress up your pooch — but are often fear judgement by friends, family or onlooking stranger — head on over to the Roosevelt location on Saturday, October 31, between 3 and 9 p.m. and experience the sheer joy that is a dog in a costume with those who share your passion. Call 602-795-2193 for more information.
Día de los Muertes Glendale
The City of Glendale will host its first Día de Los Muertos Festival on Saturday, October 31, and Sunday, November 1. Beginning at noon on Saturday, attendees can meet at Murphy Park and participate in traditional Halloween activities, like trick-or-treating, and celebrate Día de los Muertos by decorating altars for lost loved ones. Other festivities at the family-friendly event include screenings of The Book of Life and musical performances by local mariachi bands and other musicians. Visit the diadelosmuertosglendaleaz.com for more information.