Update: Meters suspended for Bay Shore’s big Haunted Halloween Festival

Bay Shore Haunted Garden

Update: The Town of Islip will be suspending meters during this Saturday evening’s Haunted Halloween Festival downtown, it was announced Thursday by Bay Shore Chamber of Commerce president Donna Periconi.

Main Street will be closed from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. between Shore Lane and Smith Avenue. The festivities kick off with a costume parade at 4 p.m.

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Original story: Downtown Bay Shore will be playing host to a Haunted Halloween Festival to rival any on the South Shore this October.

A full lineup of events, attractions and activities will kick off at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21. First up is the costume parade that starts at Main Street and Shore Lane and ends at the bandshell with a red-carpet walk and prizes.

A huge attraction each year is the Bay Shore Beautification Society’s Haunted Garden, which happens in the Community Reflection Garden on Main Street.

Bay Shore drama students act out the characters in the garden. Meanwhile, kids waiting to enter the garden are entertained with activities and games, the organizers say.

There’s also face-painting, bounce houses, craft vendors and sidewalk dining.

Another big highlight is a pumpkin carving and painting contest, with even more prizes to be won.

“You light them when it’s darks and it looks fabulous,” Gina Lambert of the Beautification Society said at a recent Bay Shore Chamber of Commerce meeting. “People are really incredibly talented and creative.”

The street festival runs until 8:30 p.m.

During that time, revelers will also get the chance to witness a flash mob-style Michael Jackson Thriller dance routine.

“We’re going to have the routine performed a couple of times on Main Street,” Lambert said. “It’s going to be a great community event and we hope everybody comes down.”

The festival’s organizers include the Beautification Society, Chamber of Commerce restaurant committee, Great South Bay YMCA, and the Bay Shore Business Improvement District.

To further set the scene in the hamlet, the Beautification Society has launched the first-ever Bay Shore Pumpkin People decorating contest that will run all October.

Residents and businesses alike are encouraged to get creative in putting together a Pumpkin Person, which is like a scare crow with a pumpkin head.

Click here for an instructional video.

“We want them all over town,” said Mary Louise Cohen, also of the Beautification Society. “We want to really encourage the community and the businesses to get involved in this. We’re hoping this will become a new tradition in Bay Shore.”

Participants must submit photos by Oct. 20 of their Pumpkin People to be eligible for prizes.

Visit the Beautification Society’s Facebook page or website for instructions.

The winners will be chosen on Halloween.

Photo: The Haunted Garden on Main Street from a past Halloween Festival. (Credit: Bay Shore Beautification Society Facebook page)