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FENWAY WILL BE SPOOKY BUT NO HOTEL CALIFORNIA

Ghouls just wanna have fun this weekend and what better opportunity than a Halloween affair at a spooky ol' vacant hotel overlooking St. Joseph Sound.

The Dunedin Historical Society presents its first Halloween ball, Abracadabra 1: Nightmare on Edgewater Drive, at the historic Fenway on Saturday night.

Carl Sandburg, Babe Ruth and Al Capone were among the many notables to stay in the posh hotel during its heyday. No one is sure if they are planning any spirited visits, but a decorating committee is working hard to create just the right look and feel for the post-Halloween night event.

"It will be spooky but classy," said Patti Coleman, one of the decorators and co-owner of the Enchanted Branch Gift Gallery in Dunedin .

Spray-painted branches, sparkles, twinkling lights and dry ice will impart a "scary, romantic feeling," she said.

Attention is given to the last detail - even portable restrooms will be dripping in Spanish moss.

Come in costume or cocktail attire, dance, sip wine, smoke cigars under the stars - even howl at the moon if you dare.

Dine on a buffet of bruschetta, duck quesadillas, gulf shrimp salad sandwiches and more from Walt's Seasonal Cuisine of Dunedin. Bid on a high-definition television, weekend getaways and dinner packages during the silent auction.

Tickets ($50 each) benefit the educational programs and exhibits at the Dunedin Historical Museum .

The affair lasts from 7 to 11 p.m.

"This will be the last look at the Fenway before the renovations start," said the museum's executive director, Vinnie Luisi.

Hotel owner/developer George Rahdert, a St. Petersburg attorney who represents the Times, plans to restore the hotel to its former glory and open it up for business, likely in late 2009 or early 2010.

There will be a cash bar as well as a wine and cigar bar by Got Wine and Cigars of Dunedin. Attendees must be 21 years of age.

Dance music is provided by the Lounge Cats.

A costume contest includes categories for Best Costume, Most Creative and Best Couple.

Dunedin City Commissioner Deborah Kynes, chair of the event, plans to dress as Glenda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz.

"This should appeal to a broad range of people of all ages," she said. "We are very fortunate to have this opportunity for people to see the Fenway and hope lots of people will come out, dance, have their fortune told and just have a great time."

FAST FACTS

Scare up some fun

What: Abracadabra I: Nightmare on Edgewater Drive, a Halloween ball to benefit the Dunedin Historical Museum. Costume or cocktail attire. Live music by the Lounge Cats, buffet meal, cash bar, wine, cigars, silent auction, fortune telling, costume contest.

When: 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday

Where: Fenway Hotel, 453 Edgewater Drive, Dunedin

Tickets: $50 each; purchase no later than Friday at 4 p.m. Call the Dunedin Historical Museum at (727) 736-1176 to make reservations or for more information.

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