Once upon a time, Halloween was confined to but a single day of costumed merriment.
But nowadays, Alamedans of all ages have a multitude of spectacular ways to celebrate Halloween that extend far beyond the day itself.
Here is a guide to some of the more widely advertised Halloween happenings in town this year.
Feel free to comment at the end of this line-up if you know of Alameda Halloween events open to the public that are not mentioned here.
Friday, Oct. 21
In addition to the haunted house, there will be a Halloween costume contest, a fashion show and a bouncy (haunted) house for children sponsored by .
The shopping center will also feature pumpkin patches and decorations created by local elementary school youngsters between now and Halloween.
Saturday, Oct. 22
The Frank Otis Elementary School annual Harvest Carnival begins with a 9:30 a.m. costume parade and runs to 2 p.m. It is open to the public and admission is free. Lincoln Middle School’s award-winning performs when the gates open.
A Fright Night Costume Dance Party from 8 p.m. to midnight at Rhythmix Cultural Works is being billed as the return of the “classic” Halloween party. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased here. The event includes dancing, a special parking lot appearance by Lucky Juju Pinball, a monster bar, snacks and a costume contest.
Wednesday, Oct. 26
"A Haunting We Will Go" spooky storytime for school-aged children will be offered from 7 to 8 p.m. at the (main library). Children are invited to wear their Halloween costumes. Youngsters will be treated to stories, songs and film.
Thursday, Oct. 27
Halloween Stomp, a dance for seniors, takes place from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Social Hall. Dancers are encouraged to come in costume.
Revelers of all ages will converge aboard the U.S.S. Hornet at Alameda Point for a gala Monster Bash featuring haunted tours, costume contests, dancing, a special children’s area, a haunted hospital and live music. The event, which does have admission fees, runs from 7:30 pm. to midnight.
Halloween Party and Lunch for Seniors - The fun begins at 10 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church at 1323 Central Avenue. Older residents are invited to enjoy refreshments, games, prizes and a costume parade as well as a noon luncheon. Admission is $4.
Friday, Oct. 28
Alameda Firefighters Association Local 689 is sponsoring its 11th Annual Halloween Pumpking Patch on the west lawn of Franklin Park from 3 to 5:30 p.m. The event is open to children between age 3 and 10. One free pumpkin will be given to each child with a parent or guardian accompanying them. They must be residents of the City of Alameda. All offers are as long as supplies last.
Saturday, Oct. 29
First Presbyterian Church of Alameda, 2001 Santa Clara Ave., presents Pipe Screams, a Halloween music "spooktacular" and talent show with perfomances by church members — from "Love Potion No. 9" to classical offerings and audience sing-alongs — starting at 6:30 p.m. Food, games, the Graveyard of Ghouls and a children's costume parade are part of the celebration. You are ecouraged to come in costume if you wish. $5 suggested donation for adults, free for under age 12.
Sunday, Oct. 30
at the Small Dog Park! This year it is on Sunday, October 30 from 1 - 4 pm. Alameda Small Dogs holds this fun event every year — a chance for pets to show off their costumes.
Join storyteller, performance artist and poet Tureeda Mikell to hear Halloween folk tales and support The Tree of Life Foundation Health Literacy Project at . at 3 p.m.
A Haunted House Bike Tour of decorated homes and businesses on the island is being sponsored by Bike Alameda from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The departure point will announced after Oct. 28 on Bike Alameda's website. For a look at last year’s ride, go here.
Monday, Oct. 31
Webster Street merchants will welcome youngsters in costume and pass out Halloween treats from 12 to 4 p.m. There will be coloring and costume contests. Sponsored by the West Alameda Business Association.
You can add to the Alameda Patch — and feel free to alert everyone to any events we may have missed in the comments.