HarborWalk Village’s sixth annual Pumpkinpalooza a weekend of tricks and treats

Advertorial By Jordan Swanson
Oct. 26-28 HarborWalk Village will host its sixth annual Pumpkinpalooza with costume contests for adults, children and even pets, as well as haunted houses and a parade.

Halloween on the harbor is coming early and often.

The three-day Pumpkinpalooza 2012, which will be held at HarborWalk Village in Destin Oct. 26-28, will include a costume contest, haunted houses, a family fun fest, and more. The best part is that it’s all free.

“It’s three days of fun and family activities that you can find something for the entire family, from nighttime exciting adult activities and parades that you don’t find anywhere else, to the fun haunted house that kids can go through during the day on Sunday afternoon,” said Jamie Marie Hall, director of marketing and special events at HarborWalk Village.

On Friday at 8 p.m., the Rocky Horror Picture Show will take place with a shadow cast on the main stage. Props will be provided, costumes are expected, and doing the Time Warp is mandatory. Audience participation is encouraged. The show will entail mature audience material, and is therefore not recommended for young children under 12.

Contact Caroline Majure at clmsings@yahoo.com to audition or participate in this production.

On Saturday at 7 p.m., a Magical Halloween Parade will ride through the Village. Come and see hundreds of costumes in a lighted FantaSEA Pardi Parade. There will be six big floats with about 50 other entries including unicyclists, stilt walkers, and “dressed up” golf carts. The big floats will have characters like Greek gods and goddesses, pirates, Hello Kitty, and Mickey Mouse on them.

The Village’s goal is to have 100 costumed characters on the floats. The characters on the floats will throw out beads, candy, stuffed toys, and more.

“The last few parades, we’ve had close to two to three thousand people come out,” Hall said.

Then, at 9 p.m. it's the wacky, wild and wonderful fifth annual Adult Halloween costume contest on the HarborWalk Village stage. The winning stakes are high, with more categories than ever and better prizes, including Harry T’s gift certificates, vacation giveaways, and fishing trips. After a good night’s rest from attending the parade and costume contest, you can come back on Sunday from 2-5 p.m. for family fun.

The Not-So-Spooky Family Fun Fest will allow your little ghosts and goblins a ride aboard the HarborWalk Village Express — a spooky, kid-friendly train ride around the village. Take home treats and Halloween candy bags at the Pumpkinpalooza station. 

Kids in costume can Trick or Treat at all of HarborWalk Village’s merchants. A children's costume contest will be held on the center stage. The pet Howl O' Ween costume contest begins at 4 p.m. and welcomes all four-legged costumed creatures to join in on the festivities. All proceeds from the pet costume contest will benefit Alaqua Animal Refuge.

“The pet costume contest is the most fun and hysterical costume contest you’ve ever seen,” said Hall. “It’s just not Halloween until you’ve seen a Chihuahua dressed up.”

Stop at all the participating HarborWalk merchants for Trip or Treat, and register to win cash, trips and prizes.

Two new Halloween thrills have made their way to HarborWalk Village this year: The FEAR Laboratory and Friendly Haunted House Kid's Day.

The Fort Walton Beach Jaycees Haunted House will be open to the public on Oct. 25-31, from 7 p.m. until “everyone is scared away!”

The former Shed BBQ & Blues Joint will be transformed into The FEAR Laboratory, where extreme science experiments on volunteers go terribly wrong. Tickets are $8. The attraction is recommended for adults and children over 10 years old. 

On Oct. 28 from 2-5 p.m., Friendly Haunted House Kid's Day will debut at HarborWalk.

Children 13 years of age and under will be admitted free during kid's day for a lights-on tour with friendly characters to meet and greet. 

Kids can Trick or Treat throughout the Haunted House and throughout HarborWalk Village. Projects funded by proceeds of the Haunted House are

Give-a-kid-a-Christmas and Thanksgiving Baskets.

For more information on Pumpkinpalooza, contact HarborWalk Village at 850-424-0600 or email info@harborwalkdestin.com.