Now that you’ve packed away your Halloween costume, rinsed off your plastic fangs and eaten way more candy than you’d ever admit, it’s time to sit back and enjoy one of the most beautiful months in the city! As we dive headfirst into November, let’s take a look back at how Tampa came to life with a variety of Halloween, Oktoberfest and art inspired fun last month. Here are the highlights, just in case you missed it!

Mr. Karver put his heart and soul into his dolls. After the authorities came to close him down, Karver locked himself in his “Hall Of Dolls” and burned it to the ground. Now, the dummies are back and they insist the show must go on! This October, no soul was safe from the Evil Encore at Howl-O-Scream 2016. Tampa Bay’s premier Halloween event returned with tormenting surprises and unexpected frights around every corner including two brand-new haunted houses and a bone-chilling storyline starring a disturbing cast of demon dolls.

On October 2nd, the Straz Center threw open its doors for an Open House Party full of free events, performances and fun for the whole family. Attendees enjoyed food and drink specials, a backstage tour and live entertainment from LIZZIE The Killer Rock Musical, the Opera Tampa Singers, rock trio Cutty Jones and more! Fin Harp, Urban Conga’s interactive musical bench Why Sit When You Can Play? and National Sculpture Society’s Performance in Sculpture exhibit proved to also be a hit with the guests. Even the little ones got in the action with face painting and hands-on art activities.

Lowry Park Zoo’s all-new Halloween event offered eerie adventures and a wide-range of fun activities for the whole family! Youngsters, teens and adults alike enjoyed Creatures of the Night, which took place on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the month of October. Attendees wandered into scare zones, encountered animals at night, roamed through creepy mazes and came face-to-face with a jack-o-lantern spectacular. Later, they danced the night away and turned up the fun at a ghoulish dance party. Even little “boos” and “ghouls” had a trick-or-treat place set aside just for them. No horror or gore, just scares and startles for one and all!

The Tampa community made a big splash at The Florida Aquarium’s Beer and Food Festival! Brews By The Day returned on October 7th for the 8th annual year and based off the feedback, I’m sure the popular event will be back for many more years to come! Presented by Pepin Distributing, Brews By The Day was overflowing with endless beers, delicious food from local restaurants and a sea of live entertainment. Guests dived into the fun and partied with the fishes all night long as they enjoyed full access to all Aquarium galleries and exhibits.

Oktoberfest Tampa was a three day festival along the banks of the Hillsborough River at Curtis Hixon Park, right in the heart of the city! The 7th Annual festival was held from October 7-9 and featured traditional Schuplatt dancers, live music, traditional outfits and lots of singing and dancing! Attendees enjoyed authentic Bavarian food and German beer as they watched—or participated—in the annual Oktoberfest Tampa Games competition. It was a sea of laughter as competitors hoisted a Stein, rolled a keg and simply enjoy the largest, waterfront biergarten Tampa has to offer! Event proceeds benefitted Are You Safe, Inc., a local nonprofit that supports victims of domestic violence abuse.

The city was alive with UV neon glowing fun on October 8th when Blacklight Slide brought their unique nighttime event to the Florida State Fairgrounds. Attendees showed up from all over with friends and family for a night of riding a slide with neon, glow-in-the-dark water running down it. Attendees then had the time of their lives at the Blacklight Slide After Party! Vibrant colors splashed under the blacklights as music from one of the top DJ’s in the country pumped through the night. The Blacklight Slide left attendees glowing with amazement and eagerly waiting for the next one!

The city of Tampa experienced some major nostalgia on October 14th! Decades Rewind explored the best music of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s with over 100 costume changes and video screens going through the culture of the best decades of music. It was a trip down melody lane with a live 14-piece band and more than 60 songs effortlessly blended into unique medleys from some of the most prominent artists in music history. From ABBA to Zeppelin, Decades Rewind had attendees singing along and dancing in their seats on a magical, musical adventure they won’t soon forget. A portion of ticket sales from the retro extravaganza supported Feeding Tampa Bay.

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