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  • Liz Logan

From ghost tours and festivals to a lantern parade: Your Guide to Culture & Recreation Week

Updated: Oct 21, 2019

As GO month draws to a close, what better way to celebrate than by simply having a good time? We’ve celebrated so much of the business and economic development progress in Gaston, dined and shopped with amazing restaurants and retail establishments, learned about educational opportunities in Gaston County and now, we take an entire week to explore culture and recreation.

Courtesy Lantern Parade

Culture isn’t reserved exclusively for larger cities: we’ve got plenty going on right here. We are a community of artists, musicians and creatives. We like to have a good time and push our own limits athletically. That’s what this week is all about. From October 18 – 26, there are almost-daily activities to explore the fun in Gaston County.


It’s not by accident that Culture & Recreation Week ends as we celebrate Halloween. With a Fun Run, ghost tours, concerts and costumes, we can ring in fall together and celebrate the fun we can have right in our own backyards.


Friday, October 18 – Saturday, October 19

Courtesy Stowe YMCA

National Powerlifting Competition


Presented by Iron Boy Powerlifting at Stowe YMCA, this two-day event spanning various hours will showcase the strength and skill of our residents. From youth to Masters level, this bench-pressing and powerlifting competition gives you a chance to show off your skills or cheer on our residents. But don’t wait! Registration closes October 11.


Stowe Family YMCA, times vary. More information here.


Wednesday, October 23

Courtesy Gaston Pour House

Open Jam Night at Gaston Pour House


Join the Gaston County music community to either listen and enjoy or perform and participate in this open mic night. Gaston Pour House is a coffee shop by day, wine bar by night with lots of good food to choose from, that is a hub and gathering space for musicians. You won’t want to miss this event hosted in collaboration with Dan Stanton Music.


Gaston Pour House, 7pm – 11pm. More information here.


Bliss Gallery's Opening Reception: Paintings and Drawings from the Carl Plansky Collection

Belmont's Bliss Gallery is hosting an opening called, “Paintings and Drawings from the Carl Plansky Collection” and will feature works of art by Carl Plansky and Holy Angels Resident Artists. The book available for sale and signing is called “Carl Plansky, Painter and Paintmaker” by Larry Elder.


Bliss Gallery, 6pm – 8pm


Thursday, October 24

Courtesy Carolina Pro Musica

Carolina Pro Musica in Concert


Including an artist spotlight segment, the Carolina Pro Musica tells stories from past to present, with music dating back to the 1250s. Bringing this to light interpreting stories from Medieval Spain and Germany, you are invited to come, enjoy, listen and maybe even sing along.


Gaston Conference Center, Doors at 6pm, Show at 6:30pm. Register for free here.


Friday, October 25

Stowe Family YMCA Fall Festival


You can follow the yellow brick road on October 25th to the Stowe Family YMCA’s Wizard of Oz themed fall festival. There’ll be a haunted trail, face painting, games, hayrides, and plenty of treats.


Stowe Family YMCA, 5pm – 7pm. More information here.


Courtesy Gaston County Museum

Ghost Tours at the Gaston County Museum


Enjoy a lantern lit stroll through the historic Dallas Square as storytellers invoke spirits of gruesome murders and midnight callers. Your guide will spin a spirited, spine-tingling tale of ghost sightings and local folklore – and this year you might get to meet some of the ghosts!


Gaston County Museum, 7:00pm - 10:00pm (three 45 minute tours). Register here.


Saturday, October 26

Courtesy Warlick Family YMCA

Trick-or-Trail 5K & Fun Run


Join your fellow runners on the Sytz Trail System at the Warlick Family YMCA. Choose from either the 5K along the rolling hills and flats of the trail or the Fun Run following along the River Loop. The best part? You get to be in costume. So have fun, get creative and come out for a great run followed by a post-race party.


Warlick Family YMCA, 5K at 8am, Fun Run at 9:30am. Register here.


Courtesy Awaken Gallery

Mount Holly’s Lantern Parade


In partnership with Awaken Gallery and the Mount Holly Community Development Foundation, over 500 artists from as far away as Canada and Washington, DC, and as close to home as Gaston County come together for a lantern parade that is sure to draw in the crowds. Come experience the artistry by enjoying the parade and staying afterwards for an opportunity to see the lanterns up close and personal. All lanterns fit into the theme of Myths, Fables and Fairy Tales. Stick around for live music from Gigi Dover and Big Love.


Downtown Mount Holly, 7pm – 10 pm. More information here.

Courtesy City of Belmont

Boo Fest & Nightmare on Main Street


This outstanding festival continues to draw folks for a good time year after year. Belmont’s staple event, Boo Fest and Nightmare on Main Street, offers fun for the whole family, from costume contests, games and carnival rides to vendors, music and a spooky photo booth. Come in costume and enjoy a day of Halloween themed fun.


Stowe Park- Belmont, 2pm – 10pm. More information here.