Explore: Join the Zombies, politely; Forest Spook-tacular; Japanese cultural fair

Celebrate Halloween early this weekend at events that will make the hair on your arms stand on end, cause your heart to beat faster and make you want to run for your life.

Come dressed up in your best dead outfit, pull your limbs together to hobble, limp and trudge through downtown Victoria looking for brains to eat at the annual Zombie Walk, starting from Centennial Square on Saturday.

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Every undead person is encouraged to have fun but be respectful.

You are asked to adhere to some rules: No fireworks/firecrackers; no guns/crossbows (you know it’s not real but the police/public don’t); do not smear blood on store windows along the route of the walk; do not touch/smear blood on walk observers; don’t impede traffic on the roads and don’t bite anyone.

The walk is free to join. It runs 3 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, starting from Centennial Square. For more information, go to Facebook.

Halloween is the busiest time of year for John Adams and his team at Ghostly Walks.

Four scheduled 90-minute tours are planned each night, focusing on Market Square, Chinatown, the harbour near the Johnson Street Bridge, Yates Street and Bastion Square.

Cost is $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. The walks take place every night at 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. through Nov. 3. Starting location is the archway entrance to Market Square, 560 Johnson St. For more information, go to discoverthepast.com.

Adams will also be conducting two-hour Ghost Bus Tours for the Old Cemeteries Society.

Tickets are $39 (reservations recommended). The tours run 7 p.m. Friday and Sunday and 6:30 and 9 p.m. Saturday. Start location (a secret place in Oak Bay) will be divulged upon ticket purchase.

For more information, go to discoverthepast.com.

Wear your costume and bring the whole family to Halloween Organ Special, eerie and unearthly organ music, Saturday at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

Some of the city’s finest organists will be putting their spookiest repertoire through its paces on the church’s organ, a high-tech hybrid pipe-electronic instrument which boasts 2,190 pipes dating back to 1872.

The performers will include St. Andrew’s own Christine Purvis, Victoria Conservatory faculty members Jennifer Mitchell and Nicholas Fairbank, and Christ Church Cathedral’s Donald Hunt and Mark McDonald.

A highlight of the evening will be Rosemary Laing — well known for her recitals on the Netherlands Centennial Carillon — playing a rare silent movie organ accompaniment for a screening of Buster Keaton’s classic film The Haunted House.

The concert is a fundraiser for the Royal Canadian College of Organists — Victoria Centre and the upcoming Organ Festival Canada 2020.

Admission by donation. The concert starts at 7 p.m. Saturday at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 924 Douglas St.

For more information, go to rcco-victoria.org.

The Royal B.C. Museum welcomes Halloween with Night Shift: Mythical Monsters, Saturday at the museum.

For one night only, the museum opens its doors to an evening filled with costumes, live music, presentations and adventures.

Get decked out and invite your friends for a night like no other.

Tickets for this 19 and older event are $40 (photo identification required at door).

The party runs 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday at the museum, 675 Belleville St. For information, go to royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.

Victoria Carriage Tours is offering a Haunted Horse Drawn Trolley ride on Wednesday evening.

Take a ride back in time on a haunted horse drawn trolley down the dark streets of Victoria.

Hear about the scary occurrences in the most haunted neighbourhoods on the west coast — you just might see a ghost or two.

This 45-minute tour is fully narrated by ghostly guides to make it even more real — as every story told is true.

Tickets are $25 adults, $23 seniors and $20 children 12 and under. The tours run 6, 7 and 8 p.m. Oct. 30 from the corner of Menzies and Belleville streets.

For more information, go to victoriacarriage.com.

 Fair features a taste of Japan’s food, music  

Celebrate Japanese culture with food, dance and demonstrations at a Japanese Cultural Fair, Saturday at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre.

This family-friendly fundraising event is hosted by the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society.

The fair features Taiko drumming, Furusato dancers, Soran dancers from the Japanese Heritage Language School and Japanese folk singer Yuria Wakai.

New this year is a talk given on Japanese sake (at 2:45 p.m.)

Admire and learn more about the beauty of Japanese flower arranging, with Sensei Michiko Seguev creating several arrangements (including free style) that demonstrate the principles of the basic forms of the art (demonstrations at 12:15 and 2:15 p.m.)

There will also be demonstrations of a tea ceremony, martial arts and cosplay.

Japanese food to sample include sushi, Bento, Manju, Poke bowl, Maccha and more.

You can take part in a silent auction, examine a table of things Japanese, or buy a kimono.

The event is free to attend.

It runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre, 527 Fraser St.

For more information, go to Facebook.

Fun-filled Halloween weekend at Francis/King park 

You won’t find a wicked witch living in a gingerbread house, but your children (of all ages) will still have a spook-tacular day of Halloween fun at Forest Spook-tacular, at Francis/King Regional Park Saturday and Sunday.

The family-friendly drop-in event will have a cauldron with spooky treasures from the natural world, displays, activities and Halloween crafts.

Take a guided walk — if you dare — with a CRD Regional Parks naturalist, at 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.

If you wear a costume you will be eligible for a prize.

The program is free to join. It runs 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Meet at the Francis/King Nature Centre off Munn Road.

The 107-hectare park, located in Saanich, boasts woodlands, meadows, 10 kilometres miles of trails, an accessible boardwalk and a nature centre.

Try to arrive 10 minutes before the start of the program. Please leave pets at home.

For more information, go to crd.bc.ca/parks.

Ukrainian fall harvest festival set for Sunday

Join members of the local Ukrainian community in celebrating Obzhynky, the Ukrainian fall harvest festival, Sunday at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre.

The event includes a traditional Ukrainian costume show from the Motria Koropecky heritage collection.

Enjoy musical performances by the Kalyna Choir and the White Eagle Band.

Refreshments are available.

Tickets are $10 adults, free for children.

The event runs 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre, 3277 Douglas St.

Boo Boulevard promotes walkable downtown

Dress up in your Halloween costume, or watch all your favourite characters, costumes and ghosts, saunter down Boo Boulevard (Government Street between Humboldt and Yates) at Wicked Victoria on Sunday.

This is the fifth year of the annual event, hosted by the Greater Victoria Festival Society to promote a walkable downtown and Harvest and Halloween City.

You can stroll into the Feeling Ghoully Music Zone, visit Ghostly Giving and learn more about some of more than 3,000 non-profit organizations in Greater Victoria.

You can even start some early shopping in the Harvest Market, or have some fun in the Too Cute To Spook Wicked Kid Zone.

The event is free to join.

It runs noon to 5 p.m. Sunday on Government Street between Humboldt and Yates Streets.

For more information, go to gvfs.ca.


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