With jack-o-lanterns, scarecrows, allergies, nighttime frosts and flu season upon us, Halloween is surely rounding the corner. What good stuff does the city got on tap to spook the heck outta us?
Half Moon Books at 35 North Front St.will be stirring the pot with local author A.J. Schenkman, who will be doing a reading and signing of his book “Wicked Ulster County: Tales of Desperados, Gangs and More” on Saturday, Oct. 27 between 1 and 2:30 p.m. The book, released earlier this year, is cracking little volume of the kind of local history which tells well around campfires. “It’s sort of like all these strange weird crimes that happened in Ulster County,” said owner Jessica DuPont. “The county has this underground history — people do come up here for the leaves and hiking — but at the turn of the century it had its own organized crime. Nobody could think that there would ever be the Shawangunk Gang or Big Bad Bill Monroe, the Gardiner Desperado. It’s funny to think of Gardiner having been preyed upon by a bank robber at one time. It’s a darker history of Ulster County than the ones you normally see.”
A few more of Half Moon’s favorites of local season-appropriate lore: “Tall Tales of the Catskills” by Frank Dumond and “Hauntings of the Hudson River Valley: an Investigative Journey” by Vincent Dacquino. For more information, call (845) 339-5439.
It was a monster mixer!
The headlining Halloween event is “The Monster of all Mixers” hosted by Kingston Digital Corridor (KDC) at Back Stage Productions on Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 6 p.m. to midnight. The event is a benefit for the Queen’s Galley Soup Kitchen, People’s Place and the Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Cancer Fund. According to Mark Marshall, KDC’s organizer, there will be a cash bar and two separate rooms with a lounge just for networking. He said there will also be tables for independents, local businesses and organizations to distribute literature. There is a raffle, and prizes awarded for the top three Halloween costumes. “It’s a chance for you to meet some great folks, and help local organizations who are doing amazing work,” said Marshall, who will be performing in one of the bands, Mister Kick, that night. “There’s no admission fee as long as you’re in costume, otherwise, please give a donation at the door.”
Marshall said KDC, which he describes as “a group of local tech folks, independent creatives and artists,” made some changes about two years ago and that the social aspect of KDC comes through the group’s “Happier Hour” events, which occur on the last Wednesday of each month. The location of each is announced on its website, its LinkedIn and Facebook pages, and its Twitter feed. “By all accounts, it’s bringing people together and forming new relationships really well,” he said. “We’ve also adopted a policy of meeting in different places in Kingston each month … welcoming new venues to the neighborhood, or introducing folks to ones they’ve never visited before. For instance, in December, we’re having our monthly ‘Happier Hour’ at outdated café on Wall Street. That isn’t to say we don’t have favorites that we return to often, like Keegan Ales or [the] Stockade Tavern.”
Once or twice a year, there’s a very large gathering, which Marshall explained is for “supporting folks who are doing valuable work.” This time, KDC has chosen Queen’s Galley and People’s Place, stalwarts in helping the city’s needy, and the Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Cancer Fund, which helps cover the living costs of those undergoing going cancer treatment. KDC will be raising funds through a raffle of local-based donated goods and services, as well as being sponsored by Uptown’s DragonSearch Media.
On Saturday, Oct. 27 and Sunday, Oct. 28 from noon to 5 p.m. the Trolley Museum of New York will take you on a ride for your life at the Haunted Trolley Barn and Fright Rides, with live spook attractions. Admission is free for those in costume, for everyone else, it’s $6 for adults, $4 for seniors 62 and up and children ages 5-12. (Children under 5 ride free.) The Trolley Museum is located on the West Strand. For more information visit: www.tmny.org.
Lastly, for a chill to the bone, how about a Zombie Skate? Hosted by Hudson Valley Sudbury School on Saturday, Oct. 27 between 12:45 and 2:15 p.m. at the Kiwanis Ice Arena in Saugerties. Ten bucks covers skates; admission is $5 for non-skaters. Count on games, raffle and spooky crafts. For more information, call (845) 679-1002.