By Michele E. Buttelman
Signal Staff Writer
The calendar has officially turned the page to autumn and awesome fall fun, festivals, Oktoberfests and Halloween compete for your attention.
Big Bear Oktoberfest
Weekends now through Saturday, Nov. 4 celebrate Oktoberfest in Big Bear. The 53rd annual classic celebration combines Big Bear’s mountain charm with authentic German traditions, charismatic characters dressed in full regalia, German bands rocking oompah-pah tunes and, of course, the crowd favorite Chicken dance.
This festival serves up a German feast fit for a king. Enjoy scrumptious bratwurst, knockwurst, or kielbasa with lots of home-style sauerkraut.
Also available is German Potato Salad, Bavarian potato dumplings, beer cheese soup and mega-sized pretzels. Save room for fresh German apple strudel with warm vanilla sauce drizzled on top.
Enjoy the autumn splendor available in Big Bear. The best time to see awesome fall colors is mid-October to early November. Golden quaking aspens, cottonwoods, black oaks, big leaf maples and willows make for a magical fall hike.
‘Carved’ at Descanso Gardens
The Halloween-themed, family-friendly event runs Oct. 6-29. For three weeks in October, hundreds of carved pumpkins will line the Camellia Forest.
This year, “Carved” returns with a new route, new locations and enhanced experiences. As visitors wind their way through the Camellia Forest and picturesque Rose Garden, they will be enchanted by luminous jack-o’- lanterns, fall foliage and whimsical displays.
Don’t miss the Día de los Muertos altar, glow-in-the-dark installation “Rhizome” by Tom and Lien Dekyvere and giant carved pumpkins.
Castaic Lake Haunted Halloween Hike
The Friends of Castaic Lake will host the Castaic Lake Haunted Halloween Hike “Let’s Go to the Circus” on Friday, Oct. 27, Saturday, Oct. 28 and Sunday, Oct. 29 at the Castaic Lake State Recreation Area.
Participants literally crawl, crouch and interact with actors as they physically travel through a unique haunted experience. Obstacles include blood, slime, gore cannons, obstacle courses, slides and real balls of fire. This is a production filled with various levels of interactive experiences that challenge even the bravest.
The Haunted Hike is rated PG-13. Not recommended for children ages 13 and under. Parental discretion is advised.
Temecula’s Big Horse Corn Maze
If you want to take on the largest Corn Maze in Southern California you will need to travel to the Big Horse Corn Maze, hosted by the Big Horse Feed and Mercantile.
The maze is open now through Halloween Tuesdays through Fridays 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Weekends 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The last entrance into the maze is at 4 p.m. as it closes at 5 p.m. The last maze on Halloween is at 3 p.m..
Food vendors and a beer garden will be available on weekends.
Big Horse Feed and Mercantile also offers the Pumpkin Patch/Harvest Festival open now through Monday, Oct. 30 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Halloween the festival is open only 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The festival will feature tons of inflatable amusements including bounce houses, giant slides and obstacle courses and a bungee ride. It offers pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn, pumpkin accessories, snacks, beverages and more.
Ghostwalk 2023 Buffalo Bill and The Temple of Doom in Santa Paula
Santa Paula Theater Center presents GhostWalk 2023 Buffalo Bill and The Temple of Doom Fridays through Sundays over the weekends of Oct, 13-15, 20-22 and 27-29.
Ghostwalk is Ventura County’s original Halloween street theater presentation, a production of the Santa Paula Theater Center, now in its 29th year.
Each year GhostWalk is presented in a different historic Santa Paula location. Flashlight in hand, walkers will be led along a route where they hear ghosts tell their tales of how they met their untimely ends. Some of the stories are true and based on history, and others are made up. You decide which is which!