- Kristina Webb Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Royal Palm Beach’s Fall Fest returns this weekend, with a combined 10,000 people expected over the two-day event at the village’s Commons Park.
If the weather holds out — rain is expected Saturday — Royal Palm community and cultural events superintendent Carlos Morales said this year’s Fall Fest should draw its usual throngs of people to enjoy the haunted, family-friendly fun.
The event kicks off from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, with performances by local teen musician Cassie Ortiz and AC/DC tribute band Thunder Jack. Fall Fest is open from 1 to 9 p.m. Saturday, with evening performances by the Blues Brothers Soul Band and a Van Halen tribute band.
The village has expanded its activities lineup this year, adding pumpkin carving to the mix on Saturday with the knives slicing in at 5 p.m. and judging beginning at 7 p.m.
Royal Palm also switched up its hayride, making it a “haunted hayride” and adding spooky elements — but not too spooky. “We want it to be fun for any age to go on and enjoy,” Morales said.
This will be the first large event for Royal Palm’s recently completed amphitheater and stage, which sits at the southeast corner of Commons Park’s Great Lawn. The village also recently opened two new bathrooms on each side of the lawn, making it “less of a walk” to get from the amphitheater area to the Sporting Center, Morales said.
Little ghouls also can check out the photo spots around the Great Lawn, where costumed attendees can hop on a massive pirate ship to snap a picture.
The venue has ample parking, Morales noted, but should the spots on-site fill up, residents can park at and walk from Village Hall or Veterans Park to the north of Commons Park on Royal Palm Beach Boulevard. Free shuttles will be provided only within Commons Park.
Dogs are welcome, with the Commons Park dog park open for business during the day and a pet costume contest at 2 p.m. Saturday. Human costume contests kick off at 3 p.m. Saturday, with categories for all ages. Trick-or-treating begins at 5 p.m. each day.
Morales said after a lengthy cleanup from Hurricane Irma, Fall Fest is a chance for residents to have some fun and unwind. “This is a moment for people to put their worries aside and just enjoy the season with their families and with their community,” he said.
It’s free to get into Fall Fest at Commons Park, 11600 Poinciana Blvd., with a $10 charge to play games and participate in activities. For more information, call 561-753-1232 or go to www.royalpalmbeach.com.