Be afraid, be very afraid: CBC Manitoba's top 3 weekend picks

CBC Manitoba's top three picks for weekend entertainment.

Scary stuff dominates the calendar this weekend

Forbidden Forest runs Friday and Saturday at Deer Meadows Farm in the RM of Springfield. (Vince Rattai)

There will be no shortage of cringe-worthy attractions to take in this weekend in southern Manitoba, from a handful of Halloween-themed events to the dystopian horrors of The Handmaid's Tale.

As well, a couple of scary visitors will be roaming the provincial capital. The Carolina Hurricanes will be in town to play the Jets on Sunday, while the Saskatchewan Roughriders — and their fans — will haunt Investors Group Field on Saturday.

But if sports aren't a good fit, try these three suggestions on for size, courtesy of our trio of CBC Manitoba personalities:

Colton Hutchinson's pick: Deer Meadow Farms Forbidden Forest

Quite possibly the largest, loudest, and creepiest Halloween attraction in Manitoba is back and it is not for the faint of heart.

On Friday night, Deer Meadow Farms is opening up their Forbidden Forest. Take a ride on a horse-drawn hay cart and prepare to get scared. You'll come across a wide array of ghouls, skeletons, witches and vampires.

The frights in the Forbidden Forest might be a little too intense for kids under 14. (Vince Rattai)

According to the Forbidden Forest's head architect Vince Rattai, this is a horrific experience unlike any other in Manitoba. Enormous set designs full of effects, sounds and a healthy stock of strobe lights will help you live out your nightmares.

The Forbidden Forest has been running for a few years, and has a healthy stock of favourite scares mixed with brand-new creations. Rattai wouldn't give away too many spoilers, but he promised one scene fully lit in glowing black lights. He also stressed that this will not be a haunted house experience you want to take the kids to. The event is billed at 14-plus and parental guidance is required if anyone younger wants to test their nerve in the forest.

The Forbidden Forest runs Friday and Saturday with hay rides being offered from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Deer Meadow Farms is located at 155 Springfield Road in the RM of Springfield.

Shannah-Lee Vidal's pick: The Handmaid's Tale

It's not a Halloween event, but it does have an element of horror. This weekend, I am sending you to a dystopian future in the form of dance.

The Handmaid's Tale is being performed by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. It's based on Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel about a world where the few fertile women are rounded up, forced to bear children for the elite, and live as their handmaidens leaving their past identities and freedom behind.

After making its debut here in 2013, The Handmaid's Tale is back at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. (David Cooper/RWB Company)

This is the second time the RWB has performed this ballet, since its world premiere here in Winnipeg five years ago. I was there, and I was amazed at how the choreography, music, and costumes were able to convey the emotion of the story without words. You can expect the performances to give you shivers, and stay with you after the curtain closes.

The Handmaid's Tale continues through Sunday at the Centennial Concert Hall, with evening shows tonight and tomorrow, and a matinee on Sunday. Tickets can be purchased through the RWB. The content may not be suitable for younger audiences.

Ismaila Alfa's pick: Brandon University's Fifty Fest

I want to send you to school! Brandon University to be specific.

It's been 50 years since the first class graduated from a newly chartered Brandon University, and they're putting on a celebration for everyone.

They have a number of special events planned, from a basketball reunion to a visit from special guest Chris Hadfield, the former commander of the International Space Station, but …

What I want you to check out is the music festival component of the weekend.

Fifty Fest will feature performances from the Michael Cain Quartet, Shotgun Jimmy, Begonia and Royal Canoe, just to name a few.

Royal Canoe is one of the acts performing at Fifty Fest at Brandon University this weekend.

Also on stage will be Mario Vaira, who is flying in to perform in honour of his father, 1970s Bobcat basketball star Mike Vaira, who passed away earlier this year and who was also an accomplished musician.

Mario is a very accomplished musician himself having composed and recorded music for TV, film and video games.

He'll play two sets on Saturday night: one dedicated to his father, which will include some of his father's songs, followed later in the evening by a set that blends funk, R&B and hip hop with electric guitars, beatboxing, looping and saxophone. So be ready to dance.

There will be more than just music. Expect food trucks and a beer garden.

Fifty Fest is Saturday night, right on the university campus in a heated tent. It gets started at 5 p.m., goes until late and it's free!


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