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Halloween fun aplenty; Pumpkin Fest, zombies, witches, Canalloween.

Byline: Amanda Roberge

WORCESTER -- For witches, zombies and goblins of all ages, this weekend holds plenty of Halloween fun, from silly and spooky to downright terrifying -- all you have to do is pick your poison.

Canalloween kicks off today with the Boo! Youth Race beginning at 1:30 p.m., to be followed by the Scary Monster Dash 5K + Zombie Walk at 2 p.m. But the real frightening fun starts at 3 p.m., when a Halloween Parade complete with groups of Zombies will pass through Green Street and Water Street.

Children and adults alike are invited to show up in costumes and join in the parade, which is followed by more than 15 Halloween parties in the Canal District of Worcester at night at bars and restaurants -- a celebration that will continue well into the week.

A complete listing of events and parties can be found at

If walking, running and partying are less fun to you than being so scared your hair turns white, then the Factory of Terror is always an option. One of three popular New England locations, the Worcester location at 201 Grafton St., behind Union Station, features a parade of frights.

Tickets are cheapest online, and options include a "Haunt Hopper'' pass that allows access to not only the Worcester location but also those in Fall River and West Warwick, Rhode Island, and a VIP option that allows ticket-holders to skip the lines.

The final tours are being offered tonight, Sunday, Thursday and Friday (Halloween), and Nov. 1. Doors open at either 6:30 or 7 p.m., depending on the day, and group leaders are provided with a small flashlight to help them navigate.

How scary is it? Scary is relative, but owners suggest you gauge the fear factor of your own child -- or inner child -- before getting to the doors. For more information, visit

If you have a more sensitive constitution and your idea of a great Halloween fright involves a scary jack-o'-lantern, don't despair. The Great Pumpkin Fest will take place today from 2 to 9 p.m. at the EcoTarium on 222 Harrington Way, and is emotionally safe for all ages.

This popular annual event features creative displays of more than 1,000 carved pumpkins, lighted after dark, in addition to full access to museum and grounds, free digital planetarium shows (limited seating), Spooktacular science programs and trick-or-treating (while supplies last).

Friendly (non-horror) Halloween costumes are encouraged, and it is suggested that visitors bring a flashlight to light their way. This event takes place rain or shine.

Tickets, which cost $15 per person, $12 for EcoTarium members, can be purchased at the door or in advance, or at the EcoTarium ticket desk. Children younger than 2 are free. Tickets are for one-time use, with no re-admittance during the event. For more information, call (508) 929-2700 or visit

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Author:Roberge, Amanda
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Oct 25, 2014
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