By Jamila Vernon
Halloween festivities including scary storytelling, costume contests and a carnival full of games will kick off in the Carrboro community this weekend.
Starting at 5:30 p.m. today, Weaver Street Market will hold its annual "Ghost Stories"on the lawn.
This event, which has been held annually for more than seven years, will feature live music, a costume contest and scary storytelling.
Local musician Tim Stambaugh will kick off the event and play music throughout the night.
"The musicians (for the events) are incredibly eager," said Cat Moleski, a media specialist for Weaver Street Market. "Stambaugh is planning on having seasonal music and a puppeteer as part of his act."
Moleski said the costume contest is always a popular event among kids up to 10 years old.
"Costumes run the gamut from princess to Dracula, but this year we think we might get some Harry Potters," Moleski said.
Costumes will be judged in the categories of most original, funniest and scariest. The two judges will be employees of the Weaver Street Market.
Karen Berry, a recreation supervisor of the Carrboro Recreation Department, said the storytelling will be done by teacher and writer Milbre Burch.
"We always have a hard time finding good storytellers," Moleski said. "Milbre is a wonderful storyteller."
Burch will be interpreting stories by various writers and draw on world folk tales and legends as the basis for her stories.
Carrboro Recreation Department will follow this event on Tuesday with its Halloween Carnival. It will feature a range of games and activities from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m and will be held at the Carrboro Town Commons.
"It's a safer alternative to trick or treating . we ordered all the candy so we know where it's coming from," said Berry. "It (also) builds on that sense of community."
Berry said the events are geared toward children from preschool to high school.
"It (will have) carnival booths with games appropriate for different ages," Berry said.
Berry said 200 to 300 people usually attend the event, and she expects that the same amount will attend this year.
There will be an area specifically designated for teens, Berry said. Activities include eye-putt, which is a version of miniature golf, where the participants uses a fake eyeball instead of a golf ball, and dance contest.
"Monster Mash music is played and participants are to show off their moves," Berry said.
The carnival will also include an educational component that includes Merlin and his Owl and The Bat Cave. Berry said a paid performer will play the role of Merlin and talk about why owls are magical. "Halloween lends itself well to education about history," Berry said.
"Things that are fun and educational are always a good idea."
The town of Chapel Hill will close off Franklin Street to prepare for its annual Halloween Promenade, which drew tens of thousands of revelers last year.
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