News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

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October opens door to holiday season with community connections, days of remembrance

Dia de los Muertos is celebrated in Oceanside. (OsideNews file photo by Steve Marcotte)

With fall upon us, North San Diego County looks to the coming holidays, and October kicks off the season with a month of themed events and other outings celebrating Dia de los Muertos, Oktoberfest, public safety and community connections.

Click the links embedded in this story’s text for more information about the events covered. Information for this month’s Spotlight is provided by organizations and individuals in the communities covered by the North Coast Current and OsideNews.


Oct. 20-30: The Haunted Ghost Town — The Heritage Ranch and Ovation Theatre present The Haunted Ghost Town, an immersive, family-friendly experience that will transport visitors back to the Gold Rush era to explore the doomed mining town of Bitter Gulch and come face to face with the souls who remain trapped there forever. Set among restored historic buildings, the experience combines authentic details, rich storytelling based on local legends and the dark history of the Gold Rush, and bone-chilling performances by professionally trained actors in period-specific costumes. The result is an unforgettable haunted attraction to be enjoyed by all ages. The Haunted Ghost Town is located at 450 Quail Gardens Drive in Encinitas. Admission is $12 for children ages 10 and under, and $22 for adults. More information, including a link for ticket purchases, is available at

Spotlight on events for October.Oct. 21: Fall Festival Family Day — The San Diego Botanic Garden hosts a Fall Festival Family Day on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bring the whole family to create fun fall crafts, dance to the music of Billy Lee and the Swamp Critters from noon to 3 p.m. There will also be a Halloween “spooky boo-tanical” costume parade. Visitors can also plant their own ghost succulent, learn about and dissect pumpkins and hold slimy worms. All participants will receive a mini pumpkin to decorate. The San Diego Botanic Garden is located at 300 Ecke Ranch Road in Encinitas. The event is free with garden admission. More information is available online at

Oct. 24-Nov. 27: Annual Small Image Show — The San Dieguito Art Guild presents its Annual Small Image Show, which is open to guild members and non-members alike. Deadline to enter is Oct. 18. Cash awards will be awarded in five categories, and 100 pieces will be selected to hang on the walls of the group’s Off Track Gallery. All work must be original work of the artist and must be for sale. Reproductions (such as Gicleés) are accepted, but they are not eligible for awards or ribbons. Artworks must be no larger than 12 inches square. More information is available at or by calling 760-942-3636. The San Dieguito Art Guild and Off Track Gallery are located at 937 South Coast Highway 101, Suite C103, in Encinitas.

Oct. 27: Dia de los Muertos — The city of Encinitas and the Encinitas Library offer a Día de los Muertos event from 3 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27. Activities include printmaking, sugar skull decorating, altar workshops, poetry workshops, and performances by Ballet Folklorico De San Dieguito and Mariachi Chula Vista. More information is available on the city’s Cultural Arts calendar.

Oct. 31: Safe Trick-or-Treat — The Encinitas 101 MainStreet Association presents its 22nd annual Safe Trick-or-Treat event on Tuesday, Oct. 31, from 5 to 8 p.m. in downtown Encinitas. Local businesses will stay open late to welcome trick-or-treaters, and there will be several places to stop and enjoy Halloween-themed activities along Coast Highway 101. Games and music from Bucket Ruckus will be at The Lumberyard shopping center courtyard. The Self-Realization Fellowship will have a Halloween Queen’s Court and Jack-O-Lantern Gallery at the J Street Chapel, 1105 Second St. The event is free and open to families, and it runs along South Coast Highway 101 between Encinitas Boulevard and K Street. Information updates are available at the event’s calendar page online.


Oct. 7: Oktoberfest Fall Festival — The Rotary Club of Carlsbad and Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotary Club present the 41st Annual Oktoberfest Fall Festival on Saturday, Oct. 7, from noon to 8 p.m. at the Carlsbad Strawberry Company, 1050 Cannon Road. Visitors can enjoy authentic German meals from Tip Top Meats, activities for children and adults, live German music and a biergarten. An entrance fee of $10 to the Strawberry Fields is not included in ticket prices. Must be paid at the entrance to the event. Children ages 5 and under are free. The event does not accept cash. For tickets and more information, visit

Oct. 14: Public Safety Open House — The city of Carlsbad hosts its Public Safety Open House on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the city’s Safety Training Center, 5750 Orion St. Interactive displays and activities offer children and adults a chance to learn from Carlsbad city staff members, including first responders. The event is timed with the last day of Fire Prevention Week and National Crime Prevention Month. More information is available at the event’s calendar page online.

Oct. 14: Helen Knoll Foundation 5K walk — The Shoppes at Carlsbad hosts The Helen Knoll Foundation for its first-ever 5K walk on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 7 to 11 a.m. with an accompanying wellness fair and post-walk celebration presented by the United Breast Cancer Foundation from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Registered walkers will do six laps around a designated course inside the Shoppes at Carlsbad to complete the 5K at their own pace and raise funds for early breast cancer screening and detection services supported by The Helen Knoll Foundation. More information is available at the event’s calendar page online.

Oct. 28: Halloween Spooktacular — The Forum Carlsbad hosts an afternoon of trick-or-treating, creepy characters, games, music and more on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 2 to 6 p.m. Guests are invited to don their Halloween costumes and trick-or-treat through participating retailers and restaurants. Along the way, meet Frankenstein, the Sanderson Sisters and a Mad Hatter Magician. Live music and spooky carnival games will be at The Garden Area. Also available in The Garden Area, children will receive a complimentary Halloween bucket to collect their treats. Limited quantity, while supplies last. One per child. The Forum Carlsbad is located at 1905 Calle Barcelona. More information is available at the event’s calendar page online.


Now through Oct. 29: “Welcome to Sleepy Hollow” — Join the Oceanside Theatre Company for its hauntingly romantic musical thriller “Welcome to Sleepy Hollow,” written by Heather Megill Reba. Katrina Van Tassel feels like she’s outgrown the village school in Sleepy Hollow until an unwanted suitor and a fascinating new schoolteacher change her mind. For dates, times and ticket prices, visit the Oceanside Theatre Company’s website.

Oct. 6: Taste of Oceanside VIP Party — Those who missed a chance to purchase tickets for the sold-out Taste of Oceanside have an opportunity to enjoy festivities and gain access to the event by attending the Taste of Oceanside VIP Party on Friday, Oct. 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. The event will include a special Oceanside guest chef to the Oceanside Museum of Art. Explore local art galleries while you enjoy live entertainment and light food and refreshments. The Museum Store will be open for early holiday shopping. Tickets for the adults-only event are $150. More information is available at the MainStreet Oceanside website.

Oct. 21: Purses For a Purpose — The Friends of the Oceanside Public Library have been amassing a collection of gently used purses that will go on sale Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Civic Center Library Community Rooms. Proceeds go toward supporting the library. The Purses For a Purpose sale takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with Early Bird shopping for Friends’ members from 9 to 10 a.m. Memberships for Friends of the Library may be purchased at the door. More information is available at

Oct. 22: Oceanside Dia de los Muertos Festival — The community is invited to the 22nd Oceanside Dia de los Muertos Festival on Sunday, Oct. 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Oceanside. The family-friendly event will showcase more than 25 altars, traditional dancers, a classic car show and a shopping Mercado. Those interested can sign up online or contact the event organizers to do a free altar or Ofrenda at the event. More information is available at


Oct. 14: Vista Block Party — The city of Vista celebrates its 60th anniversary with a community Block Party downtown on Saturday, Oct. 14, from noon to 8 p.m., featuring local food, alcohol, shopping and lifestyle businesses along with an entertainment stage for live bands and local performances. The event will also include sports vendors and a Kids Zone with activities, face painting and videogames. More information is available

Oct. 14: Fire Prevention Day — The Vista Fire Department hosts an open house Saturday, Oct. 14, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Fire Station No. 1, located at 175 N. Melrose Drive. The event is free to the public. Children can meet the firefighters and check out the engines. Parents can learn more about fire prevention tips for the home. More information is available at the event’s calendar page online.

Oct. 28: Dia de los Muertos at Rancho Guajome Adobe — Visitors can enjoy food, altars, live entertainment, and arts and crafts during Dia de los Muertos at Rancho Guajome Adobe on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will also include Ballet Folklorico dancers and Catrina parade. More information, including ticket prices, can be found at the Rancho Guajome Adobe website.

Submit events for publication to the North Coast Current and OsideNews at currentevents[at]