Frightful events planned to celebrate Halloween

By: Chris Jackett, Sue Teggart | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published October 19, 2011


FRANKLIN/BEVERLY HILLS/BIRMINGHAM — To celebrate the season, local communities are hosting a variety of frightfully fun Halloween family activities.

In the village of Franklin, the Main Street Franklin Franklinstein Frenzy returns Oct. 22 for a ghoulishly good time.

In its second year, the event will feature bobbing for apples, free portraits of costumed kids and pets at Gorback Photography, a costume parade, trick or treating with the merchants, and a pumpkin decorating contest.

Adults can enjoy the addition of the Franklin“stein” beer garden at the Franklin Grill, along with “Skarry”aoke.

“It started as a way to focus on the downtown area and create a family friendly activity and community event,” said Connie Ettinger, Franklinstein committee chair. “We started out very modestly last year, and we had such a great reaction.”

The fun begins at 3 p.m. when two- and- four-legged costumed creatures will march down Franklin Road and throughout the Village Center, led by Frankenstein and his bride. Merchants will offer trick or treating for the kids afterward.

Visitors, businesses and residents are invited to gather around the village bonfire at the beer garden to listen to and share Halloween stories.

The hope is for Franklinstein Frenzy to showcase “the uniqueness of our little downtown” and offer families some fun, said Vivian Camody, Main Street Franklin executive director.

Franklin Police Chief Patrick Browne encourages goblins and ghouls who plan to trick or treat Oct. 31 to head out before dusk. He added that the Police Department plans to increase patrols for safety.

On Oct. 23, Beverly Hills will host the 16th annual Halloween Hoot at Beverly Park, located on the south side of Beverly Road, at Norchester.

“It all started just to have an activity that encompasses everyone in the village, young and old, on Halloween,” said longtime Parks and Recreation Board member Pat Greening, who created the event 16 years ago.

The free community favorite begins with pumpkin topping and gutting by adults from 10 a.m.-noon, with the first 200 children to show up at noon receiving a free pumpkin to carve and place along the Hoot Trail. Once the carving ends at 2 p.m., everyone will head home to prepare their costumes for Hoot Trail trick or treating from 6-8 p.m.

“The children get on a hayride and put their pumpkins along that trail and try to remember where they are because they can come back and get them after they trick or treat,” Greening said. “It includes everyone. The high schoolers come and they help unload the trucks. The parents help gut the pumpkins.” And the teens help the younger children carve the pumpkins.

The Hoot Trail follows the walking path at Beverly Park, winding through the woods as 16 homeowner associations, the Devonshire Dad’s Club and Premier Pet Supply hand out candy. After children complete the trail, they can enjoy free doughnuts, cider and storytelling at the pavilion. Creepy Clyde will entertain with his guitar and stories.

Greening said there were so many families last year that the 2,500 doughnut holes and 64 gallons of cider were gone by the end of the night.

“We just had a huge crowd last year, and it was wonderful,” Greening said. “It’s just a happy day for the children of Beverly Hills.”

Per tradition, Greening and her fellow volunteers will wear orange sweatshirts, and Greening will be handing out gold-foil-covered chocolate coins at the start of the Hoot Trail.

Since the event is completely run on donations, she said anyone interested in donating should stop by the Village Hall, 18500 W. 13 Mile. Anyone interested in helping unload and gut the pumpkins can show up in the morning before 10 a.m.

In Birmingham, the community is invited to join the festivities beginning with the Birmingham Farmers Markets End of Season Celebration 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 23.

John Heiney, executive director of the Principal Shopping District, said the event features hayrides around town, pumpkin carving demonstrations and a mini-pumpkin decorating station for children. Children are encouraged to come dressed in their Halloween costumes.

“What’s cool about this event is that everybody loves the cider mill and apple picking, but this brings the city and the country together,” Heiney said.

The festivities continue with more children’s activities and live entertainment at Shain Park for the annual Birmingham Pumpkin Patch and 75th annual Birmingham Halloween Parade.

The parade, hosted by the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber, begins 4 p.m. at the corner of Bates and Martin. A Birmingham fire truck leads the way, followed by the Seaholm High School band. Following the parade, complimentary cider and seasonal snacks will be served.

“It’s always fun to see everyone of all ages dress up and keep the community tradition alive,” said Andrea Foglietta, Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber marketing and event manager.

Although there aren’t official Halloween hours, according to the Birmingham Police Department, children are encouraged begin going door to door at dusk.

The Birmingham Farmers Market is located in public Parking Lot 6, on the east side of North Old Woodward, across from Booth Park.

For more information, visit or call (248) 530-1200.