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Scary!: There is no shortage of Halloween parties at area casinos this weekend

Halloween is finally here, and this year it’s even better because it lands on a Saturday.

I never get enough of seeing all the creative costumes people take the time to make. After seeing the cash and prizes that winners receive at area casinos for their hard efforts of creating something grandiose, I understand why they make the effort.

An evening view of the main casino entrance at Sandia Resort & Casino. (Courtesy of Sandia Resort & Casino)

An evening view of the main casino entrance at Sandia Resort & Casino. (Courtesy of Sandia Resort & Casino)

The past couple of Halloweens I have found myself with friends sitting at Sandia Resort & Casino to watch the parade of costumes that head to the annual Devil’s Delight Haunted Halloween Costume Party.

Costumed guests are usually met with cheers, laughter and applause as they walk through spectators looking to take a peek and predict the winners for the costume contest.

This year’s costume contest prizes include $5,000 in cash prizes, a trip for two to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and a New Year’s Eve package in Las Vegas, Nev., which includes tickets to see the rock band Maroon 5.

DJ Shy from Los Angeles will keep the party going throughout the night and past the witching hour. And, a Michael Jackson impersonator from Las Vegas, Nev., will turn it up as the King of Pop.

This is an age-21-and-older event so do not forget your ID. The event will be held from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday in the Sandia Resort & Casino ballroom.

Tickets are $20 advance or $25 day of the event, plus fees at ticketmaster.com. For event information, visit facebook.com/sandiacasino. For more about Sandia promotions, call 796-7500 or visit sandiacasino.com.

THE DOWNS RACETRACK & CASINO: If you’re looking for some spooky fun on Saturday without the cover charge, then head over to the Halloween Monster Bash at the First Turn Lounge inside The Downs Racetrack & Casino. DJ Chil will be throwing down the party tracks to keep you dancing.

Take a break from tearing it up on the dance floor and enter the costume contest for cash prizes. This age-21-and-older party begins at 9 p.m. Saturday and continues until 1 a.m. For more information, call 767-7171 or visit abqdowns.com.

SKY CITY CASINO HOTEL: Head west to Acoma Pueblo for some haunting fun during Sky City Casino Hotel’s fifth annual Halloween costume contest. The festivities kick off at 8 p.m. Saturday inside the Sky City VIP Showroom.

Show off your best Halloween gear for a chance to win cash prizes ranging from $100 to $700. Categories are scariest, funniest, most creative, judges choice and best overall. Following the costume contest, dance to R&B, funk, soul, hip-hop and Latin dance tunes performed by Blu Sol from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m.

For more information on Sky City, call 888-759-2489 or visit skycity.com.

BUFFALO THUNDER RESORT & CASINO: If you’re looking for more of an aesthetically pleasing Halloween weekend, then the Southwest Festival of Arts & Distillery Fest is right up your alley.

This juried fine-art festival will feature more than 125 exhibitors, predominately artists from New Mexico. A number of artists from Canada, Arizona, California, Florida, New York, Oregon, Illinois and other areas also will be part of the event, according to event organizer Ron Behrmann.

Event-goers will get the opportunity to browse and buy a large selection of sculpture, paintings, jewelry, pottery and more.

In addition to taking in some beautiful art, guests can taste New Mexico spirits, wines and beers from Distillery 365, Don Quixote Distillery & Winery, Bloody Maria and Nuevo Cerveza, KGB Spirits and Camino Real Winery, according to Behrmann. New Mexico vendors Wildwood Soapworks and Mike’s Jerky also will be on-site selling their unique products.

The event runs from noon to 9 tonight, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino, 20 Buffalo Trail in Santa Fe.

Tickets are $10 per person or $15 for a weekend pass and can be purchased at the door. For a full list of participating artists and festival information, visit swfestivalofthearts.com. For Buffalo Thunder information, call 877-848-6337 or visit buffalothunderresort.com.

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