Dublin's family-friendly Halloween Spooktacular returns this year from 3 to 8 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Dublin Community Recreation Center, 5600 Post Road.

This will be the 15th year for the free event.

Returning favorites include the Haunted Trail -- a pathway through the woods with fog machines and a fake cemetery -- and the Trunk-or-Treat Trail, where Dublin businesses pass out candy and treats.

Because of ongoing construction, the bridge that spans the south fork of Indian Run on the south side of the rec center will be open to pedestrians, but not vehicular traffic, said Mary Jo DiSalvo, a Dublin events administrator.

This year, the king and queen of Halloween will be Bob and Mara Van Vliet, DiSalvo said. The Dublin residents are an extraordinary couple, she said, and are a perfect fit for king and queen.

"They have volunteered for everything" the city sponsors and plays host to, DiSalvo said.

Families also can stop by the Haunted Theatre inside the rec center's Abbey Theatre for performances from Dublin Dance Centre and Gymnastics and a magic show.

This year, the teen lounge will also be home to the Lantern Lagoon, where children can have a chance to sing songs with Captain Jack and Princesses Bella and Ariel.

Costumed characters always have been popular at Spooktacular.

The city decided to create an environment that would be of interest to both boys and girls, so families can experience sing-alongs and story-telling together, said Sara O'Malley, a Dublin events specialist.

Residents of Dublin and Dublin City School District can get free Trunk-or-Treat Trail tickets starting at 8 a.m. Oct. 12 in the rec center. Proof of residency is required. Families can get up to five tickets per household.

DiSalvo said if severe weather is forecast, the city will provide notice of cancellation on its website and social media.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah