Halloween is most commonly associated with young trick or treaters getting into costume and going around the neighborhood filling their bags or buckets with sugary treats, so you might think the holiday would pass without much fanfare here in The Villages.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
Here's a look at how The Villages tends to celebrate Halloween.
Decorating for Halloween
It's no secret that a lot of Villagers love to decorate their houses for Christmas, but some residents go all in on decorating for Halloween.
But it's also no secret that nobody in The Villages does it better than Vinny in Kelsea Villas off of Hillsborough Trail. Here's a video from The Villages Newcomers showcasing the amount of decorations at this house:
Hometown Halloween at Brownwood Paddock Square
The signature Halloween event in The Villages is called “Hometown Halloween” and it takes place in Brownwood Paddock Square. Over the years this event has gone by different names including “Nightmare on Meggison” and the “Brownwood Sleepy Holloween Town Event”.
And no, I did not just misspell “Halloween”…that retired event name was a play on “Sleepy Hollow”.
While this multi-night event takes place towards the end of October (it's happening October 27th and 28th in 2023), preparations begin in September with a Candy Drive to ensure there are enough sweet treats to go around for kids ages 12 and under that will be attending Hometown Halloween.
Residents are asked to donate bags of new, unopened, individually wrapped candy for the “Trunk-N-Treat” portion of the evening (4-6pm), and all Regional Recreation Centers & The Villages Box Office locations serve as drop off locations for that.
The event schedule for both nights of Hometown Halloween is pretty much the same with the exception being the entertainment lineup. In addition to live entertainment, attendees can enjoy food and other vendors, a haunted house, a rock wall, carnival games, and more.
Hometown Halloween starts at 4pm and goes until 9pm both nights.
Here's a look at a prior year's Hometown Halloween event from the Pride of The Villages YouTube Channel:
Growl-O-Ween Pet Walk and Costume Contest
Dressing their pets up for Halloween is a cherished tradition for many Villagers. Oh who are we kidding, lots of residents dress their pets up all year round!
As a way to
squeeze yet a few more dollars out of residents celebrate this tradition, The Villages introduced Growl-O-Ween in 2022.
In 2023 the Growl-O-Ween pet walk and costume contest will take place on Saturday, Oct. 28th at 10 am. Contestants must be registered to participate in the walk but your registration fee of $20 includes participation in the pet walk and costume contest, a Growl-O- Ween swag bag, a doggy poop bag dispenser, and a doggy bandana.
Scooter's Monster Bash at Spanish Springs
Scooter’s Monster Bash brings all of your favorite Halloween activities to Spanish Springs on Tuesday, October 31, 2023. The night will be filled with music, dancing, Costume Contests, Trunk or Treating and more. Select Food and Market Vendors will be in attendance.
Halloween at the Other Town Squares
While Spanish Springs will have the only featured Halloween entertainment this year, that's not to say people won't be dressed up and in the Halloween spirit if you visit the other squares or Sawgrass Grove.
There just won't be anything special going on beyond the regularly scheduled nightly entertainment, though depending on whose playing, I bet you might be able to catch a cover of any number of unofficial Halloween anthems like “Thriller”, “Werewolves of London”, “Zombie”, and more.
Recreation Center and Country Club Halloween Parties
Depending on what sort of crew you run with or where you tend to hang out in The Villages, you'll probably hear about all sorts of other parties and events happening throughout the community, not only at rec centers and country clubs but also individual houses.
If you know of something especially spooky and fun, let us know about it in the comments down below!