Looking for something different this Halloween? You can probably find it on the Westside.
For instance, dog owners have a chance today to take the pooch out on the town and show him (or her) off in the Rude Dog Halloween Contest at Odyssey Video in Venice. Those rude dogs bold enough to enter will be judged on personality, costume and tricks.
"Rude is an attitude," said Kim Sakaguchi of Odyssey Video, explaining what judges will be looking for. "A Rude Dog means it's cool, radical and totally awesome."
Sakaguchi said judges for the Rude Dog costume contest will include actors who provide voices for characters on the "Rude Dog" TV cartoon show. The first-place prize will be a large, stuffed Rude Dog, with hats and cups among a host of other prizes. A $5 entry fee is required for the contest, which will take place from 1 to 4 p.m.
For those looking for something for the whole family, a pumpkin-carving session and reading of scary stories will take place at the Westside Arts Center from 3:30 to 6 p.m. today. Professional storyteller Kathleen Zundell will use puppets and musical instruments to tell children ages 3-6 some slightly scary stories. She will then entertain the older crowd with a few really scary tales.
The center has 250 pumpkins to share and is hoping for a big turnout.
"It's a free-for-all," said Jane Greenberg, assistant program director. "There is no prize because we're not into the competitive side of creating art, but older kids should like it."
On Wednesday, those sophisticated mavericks searching for an out-of-the-ordinary Halloween experience can find the "Phantom" of the Marina Market Place filling the night air with organ music. The mysterious Phantom will perform haunting classical melodies by Bach from 5 to 9 p.m.
Across the street at the Villa Marina Center, Elvira, Jason and Freddy Kreuger look-alikes will be be handing out Halloween bags of goodies along with safety tips and coloring books from 3 to 6 p.m.
The Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza will celebrate its second annual Safe Halloween Party from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Bradley Court. Other events on Wednesday include a host of carnivals at various recreation centers.
Penmar Recreation Center will have a haunted house and carnival from 6 to 9 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for a costume contest for children ages 5-8. Various games also will be offered.
Oakwood Recreation Center hosts a carnival and costume contest from 4 to 7 p.m. for ages 6-12. Food and prizes will be available. And for children 14 and under, there is a carnival from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Santa Monica Airport in the Barker Hangar. The Santa Monica Cultural and Recreation Services Department will sponsor game booths, prizes, food and a costume contest. Winners of the costume contest will receive trophies.
Here's a listing of local Halloween festivities:
Pumpkin Carving--The Westside Arts Center will sponsor pumpkin carving and scary stories for children of all ages; 1602 The Promenade, Santa Monica; times vary today; reservations required; information: (213) 395-1443 (free).
Benefit--The UCLA men's gymnastics team will hold a "Sporty Halloween Party"; Energy Unlimited Fitness Studio, 3380 Motor Ave., Los Angeles; 1 to 6 p.m. today; information: (213) 206-6831 ($25 adults, $15 students, $5 children).
Haunted House--The Culver City Department of Human Services Teen Center will present "Asylum"; 4117 Overland Ave., Culver City; 7 to 10 p.m. today through Wednesday; information: (213) 202-5689 ($5 adults, $3 children under 11).
Mask and Decorations--Masks and decorations will be made at the Felicia Mahood Senior Center, 11338 Santa Monica Blvd., West Los Angeles; 1 p.m. Monday; information: (213) 479-4119 (free).
Bobbing for Apples--The West Hollywood Farmer's Market will feature pumpkin-carving and apple-bobbing contests; Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday; information: (213) 749-9551 (free).
Children's Program--The Culver City Library will offer stories, games and treats; 4975 Overland Ave., Culver City; 7 p.m. Monday; information: (213) 559-1676 (free).
Haunted Manor--The Brentwood Youth House will be invaded by ghosts, goblins and creatures of the night; 11311 La Grange Ave., Los Angeles; 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; information: (213) 477-1511 ($2.50).
Library Party--The West Los Angeles library will present a Halloween party for children; 11360 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles; 7 p.m. Wednesday; information: (213) 312-8323 (free).
Seniors Dance--The Hollywood Senior Citizen Multipurpose Center will hold a Halloween party and dance; 6501 Fountain Ave., Hollywood; 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday; information: (213) 465-2158 (free).
Patch--Ken Koshimizu will hold a pumpkin patch party; First Baptist Church of West Los Angeles, 1609 S. Barrington Ave., Los Angeles; 6:45 p.m. Wednesday; information: (213) 826-8374 (free).