A classic Port St. Joe Halloween spooktacular is on the horizon

A classic Port St. Joe Halloween spooktacular is on the horizon.

This year will mark the 13th anniversary of the Ghosts on the Coast celebration which takes place on Oct. 31 all along Reid Avenue in Port St. Joe.

Festivities will begin at 6 p.m. ET at City Commons Park with a scary costume contest. The contest is open to kids, adults, families and pets. Prizes will include gift cards from local merchants.

During the costume contest a fish fry to benefit the Gulf County Public Library will serve up fresh mullet.

Once the contest is complete live music acts will be stationed on each end of Reid Avenue.

Freddie D and Lola will perform near Hannon Insurance while the Boyer Band will perform in the City Commons gazebo.

Police sirens will give the go-ahead for eager trick-or-treaters to grab a bag and fill up on candy goodies from the businesses.

“Street games” will be set up down the middle of Reid Avenue that will encourage kids to take a break from their sugar-induced dashing and enjoy some family-friendly activities.

“We want to slow kids down a little and engage them more,” said Chamber of Commerce director Paula Pickett, who organized this year’s event. “We’re amping it up this year and making it fun for the entire family.”

Fall festivities will include hay bale bowling, ring toss, a cake walk and Panama City storyteller Pat Nease will be on hand to share a round of scary stories.

The cake walk is a fundraiser for the Merchant’s Association to purchase Christmas lights for the trees along Reid and a surplus of 5,000 glow sticks left over from the Centennial Celebration in July will allow kids to build an interactive art installation.

“We’re likening it to a family-friendly Bourbon Street atmosphere,” said Pickett.

Area businesses and churches not located directly on Reid won’t be left out and will have pavilions along the street so they can pass out candy. Restaurants along the street will be open and ready to feed hungry revelers.

Pickett said that there was a “major need” for candy donations from the community. Bags can be dropped off at any Reid-based business or at the Chamber for distribution. Donations from the private sector will ensure that kids get sufficiently sugar-buzzed and businesses don’t have to come out of pocket. The Chamber can be reached at 850-227-1223 for any questions.

“Ghosts on the Coast takes a lot of effort to put on and the community always steps up to the plate,” said Pickett.