Contributed Photo by Jimmy Fontaine / Do the guys in Straight No Chaser know any Halloween songs? Find out Sunday when they perform at the Tivoli Theatre.

LISA DENTON: Barry, it may be hard to believe, but we are closing in on the final weekend of October. Trick-or-treating is still 10 days away, but many of the big Halloween events will be happening this weekend. What a scary thought.

BARRY COURTER: Spoooooky, you might say. Actually, I'm kinda surprised you didn't. You know what this really means, of course? Christmas music and decorations everywhere. Yowza.

But there are several big events this weekend that people will want to factor into the holiday shopping plans. Nick Lutsko has a huge party planned at The Signal to celebrate his new CD, "Swords." There will be giant puppets, the UTC Marching Brass, Subterranean Cirqus and other surprises.

LISA: Giant puppets? A marching band? Circus performers? That's how I like to enter a room.

The circus actually figures into other events this Halloween. Inversions, a circus arts and performance center on Cannon Avenue, will present a Circus Spooktacular on Saturday and Sunday. And Keegan Chitwood Events & Design will feature the Chattanooga Fire Cabaret at its Cirque du Freak — Spooktacular Gala at Lindsay Street Hall on Saturday.

Plus there's a Freakers Ball on Station Street and a costume party at Chattanooga Cigar Club. It all sounds like some hard-core partying.

BARRY: The cigar party will have a drink called the Arnold Embalmer, inspired, I assume, by the Arnold Palmer, which is iced tea and lemonade. I imagine the Embalmer has something a little stronger. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking.

LISA: The Embalmer? That's what you call a stiff drink.

If you want the family affairs, the Eerie Express train rides are running Friday and Saturday at Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, River City Kites is hosting Spooktacular Sculptures in the Sky Saturday at Sculpture Fields, and the final days of Boo in the Zoo are Friday and Saturday at Chattanooga Zoo.

The Tennessee Aquarium's AquaScarium party is Friday. Last year, I accompanied a 3-year-old Dash from the Incredibles to AquaScarium. Every time someone commented on his costume, he took off around the room to show how super-fast he could run. And he still had enough energy for the McDonald's playground when we left.

BARRY: On Saturday, another one of my favorite local acts, Call Me Spinster (they changed their name from just Spinster), will perform at the Palace Theater. They have a new video shot locally that has a Halloween-like theme called "Killer on the Loose."

We show the new video, as well as Lutsko's latest, called "The Ballad for Jesse Pinkman," which he created for Netflix, on this week's Music Wednesdays. You can watch it at

LISA: It's enough to make you think everything is Halloween. But there are a few things that won't get you spooked. Like Straight No Chaser at the Tivoli Theatre on Sunday and "Miraculous Mandarin" by the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera on Thursday.

BARRY: And the latest movie in the Bobby Stone Film Series, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." I saw a promo for it the other day and it says to bring props, but no real food. Where can a person get fake toast, I wonder.

Get event information every Thursday in ChattanoogaNow or online anytime at

Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281. Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.