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               A Luminous Beech-Hemlock Forest by the Lighthouse
By MIKE NORTON Well, the weather’s still unseasonably warm here along the shore of Grand Traverse Bay, and even though much of the fall color has peaked in the higher elevations south of town, there’s still a lot of great color to be found along the water - especially on the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas. We went out for a walk on Sunday (it was 68 degrees out) and some of those beech trees were only just beginning to turn. It’s hard to believe that Halloween is already upon us, and it seems as though everybody’s been getting into the Halloween act lately. Although I’m a big fan of scaring myself silly, I’m not crazy about events that are supposed to be aimed at younger kids and end up being really gory and frightening. That’s why my favorite local Halloween tradition is the annual Downtown Halloween Walk, where Traverse City’s downtown stores open up to costumed little ones and their parents for several hours of safe, cute trick-or-treating. (It’s this Friday from 3:30 to 5 p.m.) For more information call (231) 922-2050 or visit www.downtowntc.com. In case you miss the downtown event, there’s a similar opportunity on Saturday from 1-6 p.m. at the Grand Traverse Mall Halloween Fall Festival. They’ll have trick-or-treating, crafts, face painting, a prize wheel and a costume parade. Call (231) 922-0077 for more information.
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                Fun at the Annual Downtown Halloween Walk
For those who prefer their shivers , Friday and Saturday will provide the last opportunities to join one of the ghost walks at the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum - unique after-dark turs of the reputedly haunted lighthouse near Northport. Call (231) 386-7195 for tickets and details. And on Saturday night, you can have a chance to dine with the area’s most famous spook - Genevive Stickney - when the Mission Table Restaurant (formerly Bowers Harbor Inn) holds a special “Dinner with Genevive.” The themed dinner lasts from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and will feature a fantastic selection of food and wine parings from chef Paul Olson, 2Lads Winery, and local “ghost whisperer” Tammy Schuster. Cost is $60 per person (plus tax/gratuity) and is limited to the first 60 individuals. To make reservations, call (231) 223-4222 Saturday is also the day of the second annual Zombie 5K Run in Traverse City’s Warehouse District. Technically, there are walkers and shamblers as well as runners in this fun event, where participants (over 500 came last year) dress up as zombies to walk the city streets. It’s a fundraiser for the local trail systems, and there are prizes for winners and for best costume. For more event info, contact TART at 941-4300 or tczombierun.com. There’s late-night fun on Saturday, too. Fans of the Rocky Horror Picture Show will be glad to know that the City Opera House will be showing the cult classic musical at 8 p.m. and midnight. As always, participants are encouraged to come appropriately costumed, with props, and ready to be raucous. General Admission is $11, and prop bags can be purchased for another $5. Call (231) 941-8082 for details. And starting at 9 p.m., the Mt. Holiday Ski Area is holding its annual Halloween Party - an adults-only event with live entertainment, food, fun, and more. To purchase tickets in advance, visit www.mt-holiday.com.