Maricopa homes have sported three-headed dogs, dead bodies and ghoulish displays for Mystery Mansion Mayhem on Halloween.

October brings cooler temperatures and heightened activity to Maricopa.

That means the return of Stagecoach Days events Pecan Pride, Maricopa Shutter Shots, Copa History Hunt and Maricopa Mud Run. It also means it’s time to get your homes spookily decorated for the annual Mystery Mansion Mayhem during Halloween.

October also includes a Domestic Violence Awareness Concert.

COPA HISTORY HUNT (Stagecoach Days)
The second Copa History Hunt is a digital photo scavenger hunt for all ages. Participants will take photos of required places, buildings or items all over Maricopa, following clues provided by trivia questions and riddles.

There are cash prizes at stake. First place gets $100, second place $75 and third $50.

The event starts Oct. 8 with registration from 8 a.m. to noon in the large ramada at Copper Sky Regional Park. Entry fee (cash only) is $10 for individuals, $15 for pairs, and $25 for team of three to six people. Photos must be submitted by email by 5 p.m. on Oct. 15.

There will be a bonus round on Oct. 17 from 9 a.m. to noon.

PECAN PRIDE (Stagecoach Days)Stagecoach-Days---pecans
Last year, a dozen Maricopa eateries participated in Pecan Pride to honor Maricopa’s agricultural heritage.

Niesha Whitman, special events manager for the City of Maricopa, said she has again contacted those restaurants, which include Helen’s Kitchen, 347 Grill and Sunrise Café, in a search for unique uses of pecans.

Oct. 9-24, the participating restaurants will offer at least one specialty dish using pecans. This may be an entrée, a side dish, a sauce, a dessert or even a drink.

2015 Shutter Shots Best Overall Professional Image The Milky Way Milk Maid by Anita Turner
2015 Shutter Shots Best Overall Professional Image The Milky Way Milk Maid by Anita Turner

This 24-hour Day in the Life of Maricopa photo contest is Oct. 15 from midnight to 11:59 p.m.

The photos will be used for a photo documentation of how Maricopa looks today. Photograph a building, business, home, street or people as part of the celebration of the incorporation anniversary.

There are categories for amateur and professional. Entry is free. Put your best shots on a CD along with 5-by-7-inch prints and drop them off at City Hall by 5 p.m. Oct. 17. Photos will be juried. All photos will be returned.

2015 Shutter Shots Best Overall Amatuer Image by Dean Crandall
2015 Shutter Shots Best Overall Amatuer Image by Dean Crandall

Grand prize is $100. There are also prizes for best photo in categories of humorous, nature, business exterior, business interior, neighborhood, “Hidden Treasure,” night shot, people and historical.

The concert will feature Blues Review Band at Copper Sky Oct. 15 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

“We’re going to incorporate a ‘Strut Your Mutt’ contest,” Whitman said. “So people can sign up and register their dogs, and then they’re going to do a little costume contest at the concert, and we’ll have prizes for the cutest dog.”

Organizers want to get the anti-violence message out by incorporating something fun, she said.

MARICOPA MUD RUN (Stagecoach Days)
The fourth annual Mud Run is Oct. 22, with registration starting at 8 a.m. at Copper Sky Regional Park.

Maricopans, it turns out, are very, very good at creating very, very scary Halloween homes. This decorating contest allows them to pull out all the stops on fright night.

Registration is ongoing through Oct. 9. There will be prizes for judge’s pick and resident’s choice. Judges from the Parks, Recreation and Libraries Committee and Youth Council will decide first, second and third and best haunted house. Judging takes place Oct. 25.

First place earns $250 as does Resident’s Choice. Second place is $150, third place is $75 and best haunted house is $150.

If you want to pull your skeletons out of the closet and put them on display, register for Mystery Mansion Mayhem at

This story appears in the October issue of InMaricopa.