Progress Energy Art Gallery is blending a little mystery, a little mingling, and a touch of the macabre for its art stroll and Halloween costume party Saturday.
Think Garrison Keillor meets Ernest and Julio Gallo — and Sherlock Holmes.
Sergio Vitorio Flores' death masks grace the gallery walls, along with artist Deadboy's nightmarish photographic creations. During the daytime art stroll, the gallery will host a wine tasting with its house wine, a green apple Riesling.
"It's very sweet, with a green apple flavor," said gallery director Karren Tolliver. "It's good with cheese."
The main event at the costume party Saturday evening is an old-fashioned radio play, written and performed on location by Ralph Annan and the Old Time Radio Players.
Annan has fond memories of gathering around the radio as a child in upstate New York.
"You could buy a kit and make a radio," said Annan, 77, of Hudson, who has written a half-dozen radio plays for the gallery. "In the wintertime, you are practically snowed in, and the radio was your main contact with the outside world.
"My inspiration comes from listening to old-time radio as a kid," he added.
Annan's latest show, The Return of Reginald Burton, brings back a character who was murdered in a previous mystery involving poisoned peanut butter cookies.
"We were sorry we killed him off. He was such an interesting person," Annan said.
"He returns to seek vengeance," Tolliver said.
Annan said the play isn't too scary, just suspenseful.
Aside from script writing, Annan also serves as the "Foley artist," which means he gets to create the sound effects and music.
"When the gunshot goes off, I hit a paper bag and everybody jumps," said Annan, who will be dressed as old-time gangster Al Capone.
The evening party also includes a costume contest, a Halloween movie, food and drinks provided by Cafe Grand, and a drawing for a piece of art called Vulture Sculpture, created by local artist Lauren Carr.
Organizers had planned a Horror Shorts Film Festival, but they did not get enough submissions.
The party follows the Pumpkin Festival Art Stroll, which features welded metal sculptures by Richard Bartlett and mixed-media sculptures by James "Topper" Hobbs.
Gulf High Art Honor Society will host a fundraiser, "Have your picture taken with a monster."
For those who don't fear vampires, the Florida Blood Services bloodmobile will be on hand from 4 to 9 p.m. outside the gallery.