With the unfolding of autumn at the start and Halloween at the end, October on First Street is a time of seasonal fun and spooky surprises. It can even be a time for frightful sights and sounds as scores come out to celebrate the ancient Celtic holiday with candy, costumes and, perhaps even a glimpse of the supernatural.

This month, Benicia Main Street has a packed schedule of safe and family-friendly activities for the young and young at heart, as well as an adult-only  Zombie Brew Crawl. Halloween-themed entertainment began years ago with a children’s parade down First Street and then expanded to other events. “It’s grown a lot. October is just crazy for us but it’s wonderful crazy,” said Nancy Martinez, Main Street Program executive director.

Here’s what’s in store for October on First Street:

  • Scarecrow Contest.  Stroll down First Street any day in October and encounter creative scarecrows in downtown shops. Check out how to cast ballots for your favorites at beniciamainstreet.org. A few scarecrows can also be found in Southampton Shopping Center and Davies Square.
  • Haunted Depot. The rear of the historic Southern Pacific Railroad Depot at the foot of First Street is transformed into a chilling place filled with scary creatures. Haunted Depot tours are offered Oct. 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29 and, of course, on Halloween. Times vary so check the schedule at beniciamainstreet.org. Admission prices offset costs.
  • Ghost Walk. Regular walks to explore First Street’s paranormal history and to reveal secrets of Benicia’s past are part of the Halloween lineup. Tours are offered the first and third weekends at the depot. Cost is $25 per person. Prepaid reservations are required at 707.745.9791.
  • Zombie Brew Crawl. Zombie-attired beer lovers flock downtown 1-5pm on Saturday, Oct. 14 to enjoy small craft beer at various shops along First Street. Dare to join them? Costumes encouraged but not required. $25 in advance and $35 the day of the event. Must be 21 or over. Details at beniciamainstreet.org.
  • A 20-plus year tradition, the Halloween Costume Contest and Sidewalk Stroll gets underway Saturday, Oct. 28, 10am at City Park. Costumed children walk down First Street, stopping along the way to trick-or-treat. The Canine & Critter Costume Contest follows at noon on First Street Green. Winners of the costume contest and prizes are awarded at that time.