farmer freds

Two girls dressed as Jack Skellington and Sally from "The Nightmare Before Christmas" smile for a photo at the 2019 Farmer Fred's Harvest Fall Carnival.

Jack-o'-lanterns, candy and costumes will fill the streets of San Marcos this Halloween weekend as residents and businesses celebrate the spooky season with events for every age and interest.

Families and students alike can kick off the weekend at San Marcos City Park to celebrate the annual Farmer Fred's Harvest Fall Carnival. Hosted by San Marcos Parks and Recreation, this free event will be on Friday, Oct. 29 from 5-8 p.m. and will include carnival games, a haunted trail walk, concessions, a barrel train ride, a costume contest and more.

Jessica Ramos, recreation manager, said she looks forward to seeing attendees enjoy the different parts of the carnival at this long-standing event that has become a family favorite among San Marcos residents.

"I think one thing about Farmer Fred's is that it has become a family tradition for a lot of people," Ramos said. "They really look forward to it ... [the festival is] in a beautiful space right by the river and it's really become a family tradition for people. I think people really missed it last year."

Since the carnival was canceled last year due to the pandemic, Ramos said she is excited to see the community back together to celebrate Halloween at this annual event.

"We're just excited to have that community spirit again and be able to host this for our families in our community," Ramos said. "A huge part of the event is our volunteers, which oftentimes are university students. And so that is a whole other aspect to this is connecting those university students with our families in our community ... we really appreciate having our Texas State students that come and get to know the kids in our community, which is always fun."

Registration to participate in the carnival's costume contest and to volunteer to work the carnival games, help with the costume contest and set up and tear down the event are open through Thursday on the Farmer Fred's Harvest Fall Carnival website.

Hosting its first Halloween event, Stellar Coffee Co. plans to celebrate the holiday Friday evening with Stellar Spooktacular, a night of live music, costume contests and spooky drink specials. The event will take place from 4-11 p.m. at Stellar Coffee Co. located at 232 N LBJ Drive #101.

Darby Wirt, general manager, said she hopes Stellar can make this event an annual occurrence and the coffeeshop a Halloween hotspot for college students looking for something fun and laid-back to do.

"We've always wanted to be a place where people under 21 can come in because that's not super common in San Marcos, especially on the Square," Wirt said. "Everybody can come. 18 and up can come to shows and hang out, they can drink coffee. 21-year-olds can drink beer and you know, get their fill before they go out on the Square."

The first annual Stellar Spooktacular will feature live music from local artists like Marcellus Unknown and Summer Rental. More information can be found on Stellar's Instagram, @stellarcoffeeco.

Live music lovers can also head to Ragnar's on the Compound on Oct. 30 to celebrate Frights and Sounds, a Halloween festival featuring live music, vendors, food trucks, street performers and fire spinners.

Mitchell Meitler, a co-creator of the event, and his partner have hosted Frights and Sounds officially for two years and are happy to bring it back in person. The decision to hold the event on Halloween comes from their interest in the holiday and the opportunity to host something for adults that is not necessarily family oriented.

"I'm in a pop-punk band and he's in a metal band and a metalcore man. So, we kind of have that interest in Halloween movies and whatnot," Meitler said. "And it's a really fun holiday for us. So we decided just to keep the tradition going and have something on our favorite holiday."

Although their interests lie mainly in punk and metal music, the all-day event will feature artists and bands from other genres as well such as hip-hop, rap and EDM.

The festival will kick off at 4:30 p.m. on the indoor stage at 6900 Ranch Road 12. Tickets for Frights and Sounds will be available to purchase for $15 the day of the show. More information can be found on the Frights and Sounds Facebook page, @frightsandsounds.

Those in search of something spontaneous to do on Halloween can look no further than Skydive Spaceland San Marcos and its annual Halloween Boogie happening on Oct. 30 and Oct. 31.

In skydiving, a "boogie" is an event where licensed skydivers get together to show off their skills and try out new tricks. Office Manager at Skydive Spaceland Whitney Hughes said although the event will be attended by professionals, first-time divers who want to make their first jump with tandem skydiving and those who just want to watch expert skydivers perform are welcome to join in on the fun.

"Although the event is geared toward licensed skydivers, we are always open to divers with no experience who want to try something new," Hughes said.

The Halloween Boogie will feature live music, fun jumps with organizers and a skydive slip n' slide on which professional skydivers will land. More information about the event and registration for first-time jumpers can be found on the Skydive Spaceland website

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