This weekend, Cal Expo gets a head start on the Halloween season with the inaugural Witchapalooza. Music, street entertainers, celebrities, inflatable rides and, of course, spooky things abound to support several local charities. The best news is the bargain price for family fun — admission is only $5 and kids 12 and younger are free. Many of the attractions are geared towards fans of fantasy fiction, so if you have a kid, or are a kid of any age who loves to read about wizards, vampires or ghosts, you’ll find something at Witchapalooza to tickle your fancy.

Check their website for all the details, but some intriguing features include appearances by film legend Malcolm McDowell, the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer Kristy Swanson, and paranormal romance author and lycanthropy expert Eva Gordon. Awesome shopping opportunities are available from dozens of vendors, including costumes from Badger’s Den, one of the best suppliers of historical reenactment and fantasy supplies in the US, and Whimsic Alley, a recreation of numerous shops from the world of Harry Potter. Several contests have prizes, including a costume contest for both kids and adults, and patrons will have the opportunity to win $500 in cash. Steampunk culture will also be featured, including demonstrations of strange and fantastic gizmos.