CALICO--What better place to celebrate Halloween than a real ghost town? "Calico Ghost Haunt," Oct. 25-27, features trips through Maggie's Haunted Mine, Grim Reaper Tours, ghost stories, pumpkin carving, trick or treating and other family fun; 5-8 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Admission per day: $6, general; $4, children 6-15; free for those under 6. Ghost Town Road and Interstate 15, near Barstow. Camping and information: (800) 862-2542.cq/je
AVALON--The spirit of the Crescent City comes to Crescent Avenue for the Mardi Gras Ball and Zydeco Festival, Friday and Saturday. The event features live music, New Orleans-style fare from local restaurants and a parade; 7-9 p.m. Friday and 1-4 p.m. Saturday along Crescent Avenue. Admission is free. Queen Ida performs at the Mardi Gras Ball at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Casino Ballroom. Tickets for the ball are $25; reservations recommended. Tickets: (800) 866-8729. Information: (619) 458-9586.
SANTA BARBARA--Creative costumes will be the highlight at the sixth annual Black and Orange Bash, 8:30 p.m. Saturday on the upstairs Arts Terrace in downtown's Paseo Nuevo. The Halloween celebration of imagination, a fund-raiser for the Contemporary Arts Forum, will feature a costume contest, live music, a light show, pizza and a no-host bar. $22 in advance; $27 at the door. (805) 966-5373.