I never grew to fully understand the appeal that Halloween has for so many people, but that doesn’t mean I can’t make my own fun on that day.
The autumnal holiday is a strange time; one in which I can always expect to find many of my friends and acquaintances showing an entirely new side of themselves via their unique costumes. I must confess that I just don’t get it.
Sure, as a child, Halloween was a fun time (who’s going to turn down an evening of free candy?), but even then I think I was just going with the flow. My mother often picked my costumes for me – I’m pretty sure I was a jack-o-lantern for many of those years – and I was just one of a class full of participants in our Halloween parties at Temple and Fenner elementary schools. When you’re a kid, it’s just what you do.
As I grew older, my detachment with the holiday would manifest in a more palpable way. I rarely dress up, and when I do it’s usually just to wear the same old, not-very-scary mask that I bought probably six or seven years ago. I’m not a very creative person in that regard. The logistician in me says putting money, time and effort into something that will last for only a day is pointless, and then there’s the part of me that would just rather be myself on a day in which most everybody else is trying to be something else.
I don’t know, maybe I’m a party pooper. But at least for these past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to do what I love most on Halloween night – play live music. It’s kind of a win-win. I get to play music for a crowd of strangely clad individuals, and then (usually) the band will make some form of determination on who has the best costume in the house.
I guess you could say I’m living vicariously through my interactions with others; but even if that’s the case, I’d say it’s a very successful living to make. At least, through it all, I’ve never lost sight of myself.
Whatever your plans for Halloween, have fun and stay safe. And if candy was your only real reason for partaking in this year’s festivities, remember the nearest candy bar is only a checkout lane away. It may not be free, but nothing in this life ever truly is.
And now, here’s some of what you can expect to find in the area this week.
Insomniac Film Festival To Screen Halloween-Themed Films Today: Organizers of the Insomniac Film Festival will present a Halloween-themed short-film screening at the Willow Bay Theater tonight at 7. The films to be screened will be new and regionally made, some of which were submitted to Insomniac during its 24-Hour Film Festival Competition in July. The films to be screened have a PG-13 rating and there is a $3 entry fee. All proceeds will go toward the 2016 Jamestown Insomniac 24-Hour Film Festival.
The Willow Bay Theater is located at 21 E. Third St. in Jamestown. For more information, find the event on Facebook.
Haunted House At Chautauqua Mall Will Continue Through This Weekend: The Haunting at the Mall haunted house will continue today, Friday and Saturday at the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood from 7:30-10:30 p.m. The indoor haunted house, which is located on the second floor above J.C. Penney with an exterior entrance behind the store, is celebrating its third year in operation. A special kid-friendly haunt will take place Saturday from 3-6 p.m. for $5 per person during the mall-wide 2-4 p.m. trick-or-treat event. The event features more than 20 rooms of acting scenes, creepy mazes and scares. New features this year include a “Scary Lucy” scene with a live actor portraying the bronze statue in Celoron Park, a longer haunt with a different route, an optional escape-themed room and more surprises. The cost is $12 per person and $3 additional to enter the escape room. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Chautauqua County Humane Society in Jamestown.
For more information, contact event organizer Scott Mekus at 720-0564, smekus@eventzbyscott or on Facebook at “The Haunting at the Mall.”
St. Luke’s To Present ‘The Phantom Of The Opera’ Friday: St. Luke’s Episcopal Church will hold a screening of the 1925 film “The Phantom of the Opera” at 7 p.m., Friday. Downstairs in the undercroft, there will be a haunted boiler room and other Halloween-themed activities, crafts and games for children. The event is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served. A free-will offering will also be taken to support the James Prendergast Library Association.
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is located at 410 N. Main St. in Jamestown. For more information, contact the Rev. Luke Fodor at 483-6405 or email@example.com.
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SUNY Fredonia To Celebrate Halloween With Symphony Concert: The Fredonia College Symphony will perform an all-Halloween concert in costume beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday. The symphony, conducted by David Rudge and his apprentice Hayden Denesha, will be held in King Concert Hall, and will feature a number of musical selections including “A Night on Bald Mountain,” “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” “The Enchanted Lake,” “Danse Macabre,” “March to the Scaffold,” music from “Psycho,” and more. Symphony members will be in costume and the audience is encouraged to come in costume as well. There is no cost to attend.
King Concert Hall is located on the SUNY Fredonia Campus at 280 Central Ave. in Fredonia. For more information, find the concert on fredonia.edu.
Fredonia Opera House To Screen “Tannhauser,” “Paradise Is There” This Week: “Live at the Met,” the Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning series of live, high-definition opera transmissions to theaters around the world, continues its 2015-16 season at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House with a production of the Richard Wagner opera “Tannhauser” on Saturday at noon. Also being held in the coming week will be a screening of the Natalie Merchant documentary “Paradise is There,” which revisits Merchant’s multi-platinum solo debut, “Tigerlily,” originally released in 1995. There will be two separate screening: Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Individual tickets to the “Tannhauser” production are $20 for adults, $18 for opera house members and $15 for students. Tickets to the “Paradise is There” screenings are $7 for adults, $6.50 for seniors or opera house members and $5 for students.
The 1891 Fredonia Opera House is located at 9 Church St. in Fredonia. For more information, call the box office at 679-1891 or visit fredopera.org.
Community Music Project To Present Concert Sunday: The Community Music Project will present the first of its vocal music series “In Remembrance – A Memorial Concert” at Christ First United Methodist Church at 4 p.m. Sunday. Performing will be the Chautauqua Chamber Singers, under the direction of Rebecca Ryan, and the Jamestown Choral Society, under the direction of Cindy Lind Hanson. The Chamber Singers will perform three movements from Rachmaninoff’s “Vespers” in Russian, “Music Sing On” and “Unclouded Day.” Among other selections, the Choral Society will be singing “Music Never Dies,” “A Gaelic Blessing” and “O Happy Soul.” The “In Remembrance” concert is dedicated to the memory of those who have died in past years, and serves as a tribute to the contributions they made to their community. Presale tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and $5 for students. Tickets can also be purchased at the door at $13 for adults and $5 for students.
Christ First United Methodist Church is located at 663 Lakeview Ave. in Jamestown. For more information, or to purchase presale tickets, call the Community Music Project at 664-2227 or visit communitymusicproject.com.
To include an upcoming show or event in this column, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 487-1111, ext. 243 by Monday.
Bluegrass Jam: 7 p.m., Lakewood Legion, 174 Chautauqua Ave. in Lakewood
Joint Effort with Doug Neckers: 8 p.m., Library Bar and Grill, 203 N. Center St. in Corry, Pa.
Karaoke with DJ Eclips: 9 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown
Karaoke with Felony Entertainment: 10 p.m., Forte, 114 E. Third St. in Jamestown
Acoustic Open Jam: 10 p.m., Mojo’s Music Bar, 104 E. Second St. in Jamestown
Blue Magoo: 6 p.m., The Pad, 1064 Route 394 in Kennedy
Brian Hanna: 6 p.m., The Wine Cellar, 309 N. Main St. in Jamestown
Steve Strickland Duo: 7 p.m., The Cooler, 114 Main St. in Sherman
Jules-R-Us Karaoke: 7 p.m., Lakewood Legion, 174 Chautauqua Ave. in Lakewood
Charity Nuse: 9 p.m., Yesterdays, 103 Chautauqua Ave. in Lakewood
Saloonatics: 9 p.m., Good Time Saloon, 590 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown
Doug’s Karaoke: 9 p.m., Vietnam Veterans of America #865, 41 Bigelow Ave. in Jamestown
Foot Foot and Dover Spike: 10 p.m., Mojo’s Music Bar, 104 E. Second St. in Jamestown
Splitfoot: 10 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown
DJ 8on3: 10 p.m., Spirit, 108 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown
Splitfoot: 10 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown
Halloween party: 11 a.m., Harley-Davidson of Jamestown, 1951 E. Main St. in Falconer
Saloonatics: 7 p.m., The Pad, 1064 Route 394 in Kennedy
Big Tone: 7 p.m., Lakewood Legion, 174 Chautauqua Ave. in Lakewood
Strutter (KISS tribute): 7 p.m., Seneca Allegany Events Center, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd. in Salamanca
Ruckus: 8:30 p.m., Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Jamestown
Bryan Moore and DirtTrackRacing: 9 p.m., Murdocks, 104 E. Main St. in Sherman
Jules-R-Us Karaoke featuring Tami T: 9 p.m., Good Time Saloon, 590 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown
Halloween Party: 9 p.m., Vietnam Veterans of America #865, 41 Bigelow Ave. in Jamestown
Halloween Party: 9 p.m., Steener’s Pub, 3022 Route 430 in Greenhurst
Backlog: 9 p.m., Randolph Moose, 62 Jamestown St. in Randolph
Halloween Party: 10 p.m., Shawbucks, 212 W. Second St. in Jamestown
Hellraiser: 10 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown
Trip the Deuce with DJ Bax to the Future: 10 p.m., Mojo’s Music Bar, 104 E. Second St. in Jamestown
Headbangers Ball: 10 p.m., Spirit, 108 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown
Open Jam: 9 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown
Karaoke with Felony Entertainment: 10 p.m., Spirit, 108 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown
Open Jam: 10 p.m., Mojo’s Music Bar, 104 E. Second St. in Jamestown
Open Mic Night: 9 p.m., The Q, 104 W. Second St. in Jamestown
“Chasing Shadows” screening: 7 p.m., Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown
Wednesday Night Trivia: 8 p.m., Shawbucks, 212 W. Second St. in Jamestown
Open Jam: 9 p.m., Spirits, 108 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown