Already under way, the 2010 Haunted Hayrides at Red Top Mountain State Park is one of Bartow's earliest and most popular offerings.
"The basic route is we do a hayride through the woods," said Damon Kirkpatrick, president of the about 1,200-member Friends of Red Top. "It's about 25 minutes through the Iron Hill trail and it's spooky. It's all family-friendly. We don't do violence or gore or chainsaws or anything like that. So it's all family-friendly fun. Then after your hayride, you stop and have some snacks and hot apple cider. We have some professional storytellers who do about 20 minutes or so of stories and songs that are all Halloween centric. So it's a lot of fun."
To participate, individuals need to make reservations online at www.friendsofredtop.org. In addition to obtaining a $5 daily parking pass, the event costs $8 per person and children 2 and younger are admitted free. Due to its high demand, the hayrides -- 7, 7:40, 8:20 and 9 p.m. -- are sold out on the next two Saturdays, with spots still remaining tonight and Oct. 22.
Along with festivals, haunted houses and carnivals, one of Cartersville's Halloween staples is the Downtown Trick or Treat. Hosted by the Cartersville Downtown Development Authority and the downtown merchants, the event is targeted to youth 12 and younger Oct. 29 from 3 to 5 p.m.
Children are encouraged to dress up in their favorite costumes and obtain goodies at candy stations situated throughout the downtown area, including Main Street, under the Church Street bridge, Public Square, Wall Street and Friendship Plaza.
"We start getting calls about August as people start planning where they're going to go for Halloween. ... It's fun and it's free for people to come through and trick or treat and it's just a safe environment to trick or treat," said Liz Hood, executive director of the Cartersville DDA, adding about 5,000 children are expected to attend this year's event. "This is the 24th year. I think it really is a tradition. We've had people tell us that one of their first memories of downtown Cartersville is coming trick or treating with their parents or their grandparents or their aunts and uncles. It's just something that they enjoyed looking forward to and [now they are] looking forward to [attending it] with their children."
For more information about Downtown Trick or Treat, call 770-607-3480.
Other Halloween-related events in Bartow County include:
* DR. CASSIDY'S HAUNTED ASYLUM
Where: 831 West Ave. in Cartersville
When: Mondays to Thursdays, 7:30 to 10 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. to midnight; Sundays, 7:30 to 11 p.m.; Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Cost: $12.50 for adults, $10 for children 12 and younger
Details: Will close after Halloween, but reopens Nov. 5 and 6, 7:30 p.m. to midnight
* SCREAMERS HAUNTED HOUSE
Where: American Legion Carl Boyd Post 42 Fairgrounds, One Roosevelt St. in Cartersville
When: Oct. 15 and 16, 21 to 23 and 28 to 31; Thursdays 7 to 11 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays 7 p.m. to midnight; to open 6 p.m. on Halloween.
Cost: $10 per person
* BATS, BUGS & BARK! FALL HIKE
Where: The Pettit Environmental Preserve
When: Oct. 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; bat presentations, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Information: www.pettitpreserve.org, firstname.lastname@example.org or 678-848-4179
* MONSTER MAKE-UP CLASS:
Where: Cultural Arts Alliance Center
When: Oct. 16 and 23, noon to 2 p.m.
Cost: $10 for adults, $7 for students
Information: Kip Henderson, 678-901-7874 or email@example.com
Where: Pettit Creek Farms, 337 Cassville Road in Cartersville
When: Oct. 16 and 17
Cost: Admission is $3 for adults; children 10 and younger are free.
Details: Activities include pony rides, live music, face painting, arts and crafts and a food court.
Information: www.pettitcreekfarms.com, 770-386-8688
* CARTERSVILLE-BARTOW COUNTY CRIME STOPPERS MYSTERY DINNER
Where: Stonewall Manor, 104 Stonewall St. in Cartersville
When: Oct. 21 at 6 p.m.
Cost: $75 per person, discounted price for tables
Information: Tanya Rucker, 770-382-4973
* "NIGHTFALL WITH EDGAR ALLEN POE"
Where: Cartersville High Auditorium, 320 E. Church St. in Cartersville
When: Oct. 21 and 23 at 7 p.m.
Cost: $5 at the door
* HALLOWEEN DOUBLE FEATURE: "DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE"/"DARK MATTERS"
Where: The Legion Theatre, 114 W. Main St. in Cartersville
When: October 22, 23, 29 and 30 at 8 p.m.; Oct. 24 and 31 at 3 p.m.
Cost: $20 for adults, $17 for students, individuals 65 and older, and Pumphouse Players members, $15 for groups; opening night on Oct. 22, $15
Information: www.pumphouseplayers.com or call 770-387-2610
* HALLOWEEN CARNIVAL
Where: Dellinger Park Football Field, 100 Pine Grove Road in Cartersville
When: Oct. 23, 3 to 6 p.m.
Details: Children encouraged to wear costumes and bring a bag for their goodies.
Information: www.cityofcartersville.org or 770-387-5626
* THE COVERED BRIDGE FALL FEST AND CHILI COOK-OFF
Where: Frankie Harris Park in Euharlee
When: Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: $1 admission
Details: The festival will include games, food, trick or treating, hayrides and entertainment provided by the Georgia Country Music and Gospel Association.
* PUMPKIN CARVING
Where: Adairsville Public Library, 202 N. Main St. in Adairsville
When: Oct. 28, 5 to 7:30 p.m.
Activities: Pumpkin carving -- participants need to bring a pumpkin that is cleaned and gutted. Tools and patterns will be supplied by the library.
* NIGHTMARE ON STONEWALL
When: Oct. 30 at 8 p.m.
Where: Stonewall Manor
Cost: Tickets are $35 and may be purchased at Periwinkle, 22 E. Church Street; Moore's Gourmet Market, 227 Fite St.; Mission Tire, 121 S. Gilmer St.; or at the AIDS Alliance office, 775 West Ave., or Stonewall Manor.
Details: Event includes dinner, costume contest, music, dancing and open bar. Proceeds benefit AIDS Alliance of Northwest Georgia.
Information: www.nightmareonstonewall.com, 770-606-0953
* LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS-FIREARMS INSTRUCTORS ASSOCIATION'S HALLOWEEN COSTUME MOTORCYCLE RIDE
Where: Bartow County Sheriff's Office, 104 Zena Drive in Cartersville
When: Oct. 30; registration begins at 9 a.m.; ride departs at 10 a.m.; pre-register by Oct. 23.
Cost: $25 per bike and $10 per passenger
Information: Lt. Jeff Lawler or Capt. Mike Shinall, 770-382-5050