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Frights, delights abound this weekend
Many options for families, children of all ages
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Forsyth County News

Forsyth County residents looking for something to do this weekend have many options in the county.

From fun runs to festivals and dances to hoedowns, there’s no shortage of options. And nearly all of the happenings feature a fall or Halloween theme. Among them:


Trunk or Treat


The fourth annual Trunk or Treat Safety Event will start near dusk at Coal Mountain Park on Saturday.

Forsyth County public safety officials hold the family event, which runs from 6 to 9 p.m. and admission is a bag of candy, for Halloween fun and safety education.

Children are encouraged to wear their costumes to the Trunk or Treat, which will feature a haunted maze, bean bag toss, face painting, clowns and other activities and games.

It also includes information on costume safety, pedestrian safety, stranger danger, Stop-Drop-Roll demonstrations and more.

“Trunk or Treat is a fun event, but is also an opportunity to share with families important safety information surrounding Halloween activities,” said Fire Chief Danny Bowman. “Forsyth County’s public safety personnel pride themselves on providing engaging ways to promote safety to our community’s youth.”

Local business and organizations will also participate, handing out candy, other giveaways or offering activities.

Coal Mountain Park is at 3560 Settingdown Road in Cumming.


Red Door Festival


Visit the church with the red door for a fun and delicious community festival on Saturday.

The fourth annual Red Door Festival at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit runs from 10 4 p.m., featuring a yard sale, British car show, live entertainment, kids’ activities and pork — lots of it.

The community event evolved from a parish tradition of a yearly pig roast, said organizer Janice Davis.

“It takes a good half of the people in our parish to put on this festival because we’re a little church,” she said.

This year, members will roast six pigs, up from four last year, which is expected to produce about 300 pounds of meat, Davis said.

Visitors can enjoy the barbecue by the plate or purchase a pound to take home, she said.

The festival’s British car show, a new feature this year, pays homage to the Episcopal Church’s Anglican background, Davis said.

Live entertainment and music will also be provided by local groups, including the Sounds of Sawnee band.

Kids can play games or have their face painted, while adults can do some shopping.

Arts and crafts vendors will be on site and raffle baskets will be available for silent auction.

The Red Elephant Sale is a large yard sale that Davis said is a huge draw to the festival.

The money from the event supports the church’s non-food pantry, which Davis said supports about 180 families in need each month.

“That’s really why we do this,” she said. “Plus, it gives us a chance to work together and eat good barbeque.”

The church is at 724 Pilgrim Mill Road.


Halloween Hoedown


Members of the Rotary Club of North Forsyth-400 will present their annual Halloween Hoedown from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday.

Lisa Hood, the club’s fundraising chairwoman, said the event is one of two large fundraisers the club holds each year to support its programming.

“We really focus on the youth of north Forsyth County,” Hood said. “We give a scholarship to a North Forsyth High School graduate each year and we sponsor the high school’s Interact Club. We’re about to start those clubs at Little Mill Middle and North Forsyth Middle as well.”

This will be the fourth year for the Halloween Hoe-down, which will be held at the Lakewood 400 Antique Market, 1285 Valley Circle Road.

“The past couple of years we’ve had about 150 people, so we’re hoping for at least that many this year,” Hood said.

The event features dinner and a cash bar, as well as a DJ who will provide music for dancing.

There’s also a 50/50 cash raffle and silent auction with items ranging from gift certificates from local businesses to sports memorabilia.  

Guests are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes and take part in the evening’s costume contest.

“Some people really go all out with their costumes, so it’s a lot of fun,” Hood said. “While people don’t have to wear a costume, we encourage it.”

For an additional $50 fee, teams of two can take part in the event’s corn hole tournament, where a cash prize will be awarded to the winning team.

“The evening is a really fun night so we’re helping for a lot of people,” Hood said.


Halloween Dance


Forsyth County Senior Services will hold a Haunting Halloween Dance for adults at about the same time as the Trunk or Treat for families on Saturday.

The dance, featuring live music, will be held at the Sexton Hall Enrichment Center from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. for adults 40 and older.

The Halloween-themed event costs $10 for admission, which includes refreshments. Entertainment will be provided by the Sounds of Sawnee Jazz Band and the 8 Up With Dixie Band.

“We are looking forward to hosting this dance just in time for Halloween festivities,” said Michael Bohn, director of senior services. “This event is part of our ongoing dance series and will be our last of 2013, so we are excited about making it a fantastic evening.”

Sexton Hall Enrichment Center is at 2115 Chloe Road, just off of Sharon Road between Peachtree Parkway and Old Atlanta Road.

For additional information, call senior services at (770) 781-2178.


Haunted Hustle 5K


Monsters aren’t known for running, but this weekend zombies — along with ghosts, witches and other spooky creatures — will participate in two races.

The first is the inaugural Cumming Kiwanis Club Haunted Hustle 5K & Fun Run, which is set for 4 p.m. Saturday at the group’s clubhouse at 417 Pilgrim Mill Road in Cumming.

A second 5K event will be held at 8 a.m. Sunday in conjunction with the Halloween Half Marathon, which begins and ends at the Cumming Fairgrounds.

The Halloween-themed Kiwanis Club Haunted Hustle on Saturday is open to anyone, even those who don’t want to wear a costume.

Event director Mike Burns said there are “prizes for different age categories, overall prizes and we’re asking folks to be costumed as well, so we’ll have gifts for people that will be wearing costumes.”

Burns said several club members will participate in the run, as will members of high school Key Clubs.

“It’s a challenge, it’s a family event, it’s local ... and it’s timed so that people can do trick or treating events afterwards or before,” he said. “We just felt like a 5K with costumes and a fun run would be a lot of fun for families and a graet organized event for Halloween.”

As many as 200 runners are expected for the event, which begins at the Kiwanis clubhouse. It’s a fundraiser for the club’s youth-focused programs and other community charities.

Registration starts at 4 p.m., with the race at 5 p.m. and the fun run at 6 p.m.

Cost to enter is $25 for adults, $20 for children 12 to 18 and $15 for children 12 and younger.

To register ahead of time, visit or . For more information about the club, visit


Halloween Half Marathon


For the Halloween Half Marathon & 5K on Sunday, organizer Greg Patterson said 600 runners have registered.

Patterson, a youth running coach for Gotta Run Kids, said he’s looking forward to seeing all the costumes, prizes for which will be awarded in categories ranging from funniest to best villain. The costumes aren’t exclusive to kids.

“There are a lot of adults who like to dress up too,” he said.

A portion of the proceeds from the event will go toward Mallory’s Miracle for childhood cancer.

The half-marathon is open to anyone 14 or older and begins at 8 a.m., while the 5K is open to all ages and starts at 8:30 a.m. Both start and end at the Cumming Fairgrounds off Castleberry Road east of downtown.

About 120 children are likely to take part, Patterson said.

“I’m trying to get as many kids to run as possible,” he said. “I’ve seen kids just grow and grow ... kids that just never thought they’d be able to run and what they’ve achieved. I could tell you story after story. It’s important to realize that they can achieve whatever they want in life.”

The half marathon costs $80 to enter, while the 5K is $30. To register for the event, visit


Staff writers Crystal Ledford and Jennifer Sami contributed to this report.