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This is Halloween: Let these spooky happenings distract you from the terrors of next week

Howl-o-Ween 2020

Howl-o-Ween 2020 Getty Images/iStockphoto

The presidential election is about a week away. Are you scared yet?

Let’s pass the time with something less terrifying: Halloween. Also this week? Mia’s “Foot in the Door” is back after 10 years.

Twin Cities Horror Fest 2020

Twin Cities Horror Fest 2020

Twin Cities Horror Fest

Now in its ninth year, the Twin Cities Horror Festival has grown exponentially in popularity each season, bringing theatergoers a variety of scares ranging from subtle, psychological productions to full on bloodbaths. This year, despite the horrors of 2020, the show will go on... on YouTube Live. “Moving the festival online comes with a set of new challenges,” says co-artistic director Nissa Nordland. “With the virtual medium, we constantly evaluate how to make a terrifying experience translate through the screen. How do we scare you from the safety of your own couch?”

You’ll be able to discover how they answered these questions this week when a total of five new works premiere over the course of three evenings. The roster includes a reading of The Retelling, a work-in-progress musical slated to fully launch at the 2021 festival. Winding Sheet Outfit’s When Your Love Sets You On Fire tells the true tale of Bridget Cleary, “a victim of the last witch burning in Ireland.” There’s also a ghastly cabaret hosted by Leslie Vincent, an anthology of short horror flicks ranging in content from campy to creepy, and Confirmation Bias, a psychological horror story starring Lauren Anderson and Heather Meyer.

As for tickets, the event is moving to a pay-as-able model. “We chose a ‘PWYC’ model to reduce barriers and increase access to our online platform,” says Ryan Lear, executive director at TCHF. “With this model, 80 percent of festival ticket and pass sales will go directly to the producing artists creating this unique work.” Any donation gets you access, but the suggested rates are $15 per show, $55 for the evening, and $120 for an all-weekend pass. You can throw them a bone and find more details over at tchorrorfestival.com. 6 p.m. to midnight each evening. October 29-31

Jack-o-Lanterns get lit at JXTA.

Jack-o-Lanterns get lit at JXTA. Getty Images/iStockphoto

JXTA Jack-O-Lantern Plaza Takeover

Normally, Juxtaposition Arts’ outdoor plaza is a play area for skateboarders and graffiti artists. This Friday, however, the organization will be turning it into a celebration of art, with pumpkins as the canvas. Folks will bring their original creations to the square to be judged for a chance to win cash prizes. Pumpkins can be carved or painted, and will be on display at the party. Masks are required, obviously, and there will be candy and other treats. You’ll need to sign up to submit a Jacko-Lantern, and this party is limited to 30 people at a time to ensure safety. Register at juxtapositionarts.org. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Free. Juxtaposition Arts, 2007 Emerson Ave. N., Minneapolis. October 30

Dark Fatha Release Party

Barhopping in big crowds just isn’t going to be a thing this year. There is, however, some fun to be had, including Bent Brewstillery’s Halloween-themed beer party. Dark Fatha is a limited-quantity American imperial stout, aged in bourbon barrels, that the Roseville brewpub/distillery serves on special occasions. Try it this Saturday, or opt to travel through history by ordering a flight that features Dark Fatha varieties from 2017, 2018, and 2019. Also on tap will be the 2020 version of the Brewer’s Reserve Dark Fatha, made with macadamia nuts and toasted pecans, and aged in a barrel for 10 years. If you’re more of a cocktail person, try the Fatha’s old fashioned, or a drink made with J.A. V, a locally made beet sugar vodka. Show up in your finest Halloween garb if you’re inclined to do so; a costume contest starts up around 8 p.m. Free. Noon to midnight. Bent Brewstillery, 1744 Terrace Dr., Roseville. October 31

Dark Fatha 2020 release party

Dark Fatha 2020 release party

Howl-o-Ween

You may feel too old to dress up for Halloween, but your dog never is. See this principle in action at Sociable Cider Werk’s canine-themed party for All Hallow’s Eve. So put the taco, Batman, or mermaid costume on your pup, and head out for a pint. The (mask wearing, socially distant) crowd promises to be cute AF, with bartenders judging the top looks for prize packages. Oh, and no worries if you want to dress up, too: Humans are encouraged to celebrate the holiday, even if there will be no people prizes awarded today. Be sure to check in with staff by 2:45 p.m. to participate. Free. 1 to 3 p.m. Sociable Cider Werks, 1500 Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis. October 31

Howl-o-Ween 2020

Howl-o-Ween 2020 Getty Images/iStockphoto

Foot in the Door 5: The Virtual Exhibition

In 1980, the Minneapolis Artist Exhibition Program (MAEP) decided to organize the first “Foot in the Door” show at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. The criteria to submit work were simple: The maker had to be local, and the piece could be no bigger than one cubic foot. The inaugural show was a hit, featuring 740 artists.

Since then, this event has been a oncea-decade opportunity that has grown exponentially. The most recent show, in 2010, featured nearly 5,000 works. Expect a similar turnout in 2020, with media in every shape and form. That includes paintings, photography, sculpture, video work, and installation—all adhering to that 1' by 1'/one cubic foot rule.

There is, however, one major change this year: “Foot in the Door,” which typically boasts gallery walls filled within an inch of their lives, is moving to the virtual realm in 2020. Still, this is a rare chance to see what creatives are up to right now in Minnesota. You can find more info at new.artsmia.org. November 1 through January 10