Ghosts, goblins, and spirits are invited to share another spooky season as Farmers Branch transforms into Booville for Halloween In The Park; and honors the deceased the following week for a festive Day of the Dead Celebration.
Halloween In The Park is Saturday, October 26 from 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. at the Farmers Branch Historical Park. This family event is free for Farmers Branch residents with the Boo Pass and $5 for non-residents ages 4 years and up. Boo Passes are mailed out in advance to Farmers Branch residents in the October edition of the Branch Review. Please clip the voucher and present it at the gates. Boo Passes are available beginning at the following locations during normal business hours.
Farmers Branch Aquatics Center – 14032 Heartside Place
Farmers Branch Historical Park – 2540 Farmers Branch Lane
Farmers Branch Recreation Center – 14050 Heartside Place
The Branch Connection – 14055 Dennis Lane
Information Desk at Farmers Branch City Hall – 13000 William Dodson Parkway
Farmers Branch residents must present a current photo ID or utility bill that shows a Farmers Branch address. Limit one pass per household. Farmers Branch residents who arrive at the Historical Park gates without a Boo Pass can still enjoy free entry – at the gate please present a photo ID that shows a Farmers Branch address.
B4 Realty and Goosehead Insurance will be hosting a canned food drive to benefit Metrocrest Services. A special trick or treat bags given to the first 1,000 kids who bring two or more canned goods.
Activities for Halloween In The Park include a Haunted Hedge that open as sunset ($5 per person). This is recommended for ages 9 and up and includes loud noises, strobe lights, graphic imagery – enter at your own risk! Boo-ville is an area designed for children ages 5 and under. The will also be a petting zoo, bounce houses, stage entertainment, and a Family Costume Contest. Cash Midway Carnival Games range from 25¢- $1 cash. Proceeds raised benefits non-profit and community organizations.
Concessions and Novelty Food Vendors include:
- Nuevo Leon (Mexican)
- Donovan’s (Fries, Corn Dogs, Funnel Cakes, Tenders)
- Bartley’s (BBQ and Turkey legs)
- Knights of Columbus (Burgers, Hot Dogs, Frito Pie, Tamales)
- Texas Corn (Corn on the cob)
- Jackie Bob’s (Kettle Corn)
- Rustica (Homemade, prepackaged baked goods)
Halloween In The Park is sponsored by Dallas Medical Center, TopGolf, Advance Dental, Dallas Chiropractic Metrics, and Care Now. Free parking is provided at Ford Road and Villa Creek. Disabled parking is located at the corner of Ford Road and Christian Parkway. Call 972-247-4607 with additional questions and follow the event on Facebook!
The Farmers Branch Historical Park is hosting the Day of the Dead Celebration, also known as Dia de los Muertos, on Thursday, November 1 at the Dodson House. The two-hour celebration is from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. and festivities include food, a signature drink, aguas frescas and cinnamon hot chocolate, traditional decor, music, education about the holiday and honoring the deceased.
Guests will also “encounter” historic spirits at the Farmers Branch (Keenan) Cemetery. The cost is $25 per person; $20 per Friend of the Farmers Branch Historical Park member, and pre-registraiton is required due to limited space. The recommended age is 4 years and up. Call 972-406-0184 or register online.
“Americans tend to lump together Halloween and the Day of the Dead,” says Bonnie Neumann, historical cultural specialist for Farmers Branch. “But that’s not really the case. The two holidays are different and separate.”
Despite the name, this is not a spooky or somber event, but is a festive occasion honoring the lives and memories of family and friends who have died. The living honor the dead during this celebration by building altars, or ofrendas, in memory of the departed. These altars are decorated with orange Mexican marigolds, photographs, favorite foods, drinks and items, such as lace, clothing or jewelry, of the dead.
The timing of the holiday occurs at the same time as the migration of the monarch butterflies to Mexico. Some believe that the butterflies are the returning spirits of the departed.
The historical roots of the Day of the Dead, which is observed over three days, can be traced to ancient indigenous peoples of southern Mexico. After the Spanish and Catholicism arrived, the tradition evolved to coincide with the Christian observance of Allhallowtide: All Saints’ Eve, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day on October 31, November 1 and November 2. In the 1960’s, Mexico made November 2 a national holiday in observance of the Day of the Dead, known there as Día de Muertos. It was then that the custom spread throughout Mexico.