Maybe it's our puritanical past, or just an innate desire to turn any random holiday into an excuse to dress up and get blitzed, but no country does Halloween like America. Sorting through the myriad events and parties can be overwhelming, but lucky for readers, we've compiled a few of our favorites for the weekend and beyond.
Things kick off on Friday, Oct. 28, at 5:30 p.m. at the 10th annual Trick-or-Treat on India Street. The family-friendly event will feature Little Italy businesses handing out candy and offering specials on goods.
You can start Saturday, Oct. 29 off at the annual BoulevardBOO! Parade at 10 a.m. at the College Area Business District (on El Cajon Blvd. between Rolando Blvd. and 60th St.). The annual parade is free and features elaborate floats, costumed characters and live music. Afterward, head to the Central Library (330 Park Blvd.) downtown for the Checked Out 2016 show presented by local music/art weirdos Stay Strange. The free show from 4 to 9 p.m. includes experimental music performances, as well as "Build A Beast" arts and crafts activities. A few blocks away, there's the mother of all monster mashes, the Monster Bash, happening along eight city blocks of downtown from 6 p.m. to midnight. The annual fest features five stages of music, costume contests and booze galore. Tickets range from $45 to $105.
If you're in the mood for cuteness, hit up the Howl-O-Ween Dog Costume Contest on Sunday, Oct. 30,from 2 to 5 p.m. at the San Diego Art Institute (1439 El Prado). The contest is open to all of the K-9 persuasion and winners will receive cool prizes. The $10 admission benefits the Four Paws Rescue in El Cajon.
Finally, on Tuesday, Nov. 1, it's totally worth checking out the California Center for the Arts, Escondido's Dia De Los Muertos Festival at 6 p.m. (340 N. Escondido Blvd., artcenter.org). The free, 21st annual fest includes music, art, ballet folklorico and a concert from Morrissey cover band, Mexrrissey at 7:30 p.m. (the concert is $35).
San Diego City Works Press has been releasing stellar compilations of promising literary voices for more than a decade. From the Sunshine/Noir series to the excellent poetry compilations, City Works is what you want when it comes to indie publishing. Its latest release, Reclaiming Our Stories: Narratives of Identity, Resilience and Empowerment, is a great example. The 19 stories deal in a host of issues including race, class, gender and identity. Highlights include Tariq Ali's touching tribute to his abuelita, Gabrielle Hines' reflections on her troubled family, and Monique Sandovalís engrossing take on growing up in Logan Heights. Readers can pick up a copy for themselves and hear from some of the writers at the book release event at the WorldBeat Center (2100 Park Blvd.) on Friday, Oct. 28, from 7 to 9 p.m. cityworkspress.org
For 22 years the San Diego Jewish Book Fair has been a great way for book lovers to meet acclaimed authors. Don't be fooled by the religious name, the book fair is mostly secular with topics ranging from cyber wars to female empowerment. It all kicks off on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m., when Rich Cohen will present his new book, The Sun & The Moon & The Rolling Stones, which gives an insiderís look at the iconic band. This kick-off event marks the beginning of a week full of literary events (through Sunday, Nov. 6)with more than 30 author appearances. From family-friendly book readings to political topics from Pulitzer Prize winners, there's something for everyone. Most events are at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center (4126 Executive Drive). Tickets range from $11 to $35 per event. sdcjc.org