Halloween and the crisp, autumn air that inevitably comes with it is my favorite time of the year. Anticipation and a sense of excitement seem to come with the cooler weather but also bring thankfulness, togetherness and a time of giving.

Events are plentiful and so is the generosity of others.

Zachary will be one busy community over the next several weeks with events that include food, fundraising, fun and the outdoors.

Let’s dip into our karma banks and volunteer to be of service at one of those community events. If not, perhaps we’re fortunate enough to donate to a worthy effort. After all, this is a time of giving, not receiving. One of the easiest things we can do is vote.

Tuesday, Nov. 4, is Election Day in East Baton Rouge Parish, so let’s exercise our right.

In the meantime, around Zachary...

Concealed handgun class

The Baton Rouge Police Department is offering two concealed handgun permit classes in November.

The classes are scheduled from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Nov. 1 and Nov. 22.

Classes will be at the BRPD Pistol Range, 999 W. Irene Road, Zachary, and taught by Baton Rouge police firearm instructors.

Cost to attend is $100 per class, which is open to anyone 21 and older. Participants must provide their own handgun and ammunition.

Only one session is required to become certified. Class size is limited to 50 people per session.

Register by calling the BRPD Training Academy at (225) 389-3886.

Mayor’s prayer breakfast

Mayor David Amrhein extends an invitation to the Zachary community to attend the annual Thanksgiving Prayer Breakfast beginning at 7 a.m. Nov. 7. The event this year will be at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 3544 Lee St. “Zachary Connected” is the theme.

A breakfast buffet, prepared by the Zachary Fire Department and Jett’s Food Mart Country Kitchen, begins at 7 a.m. with music by the Zachary High School Jazz Band and Bronco Beat Choir.

The program will begin at 7:30 a.m. with Beth Torina, LSU’s head softball coach, as the keynote speaker.

Tickets on the day of the event for $5 per person.

“This truly is a community event. Please join us as we gather together to usher in the new year and reflect on our many blessings as a city,” Amrhein said.

Calling all chili chefs

Just in time for the cool weather, registration is open for teams to compete in the Code Red Chili Cook-off Nov. 15.

The chili cook-off competition will be held 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Pointe of Americana in Zachary.

Competition is the name of the game, and the cook-off offers area companies, organizations and residents a chance to compete in a fun event for a good cause.

Celebrity judges will decide the best chili champion, and attendees will vote for the People’s Choice Award.

In addition to the chili cook-off, a VIP area will offer craft-beer tasting from local brewing clubs as well as food, music and more.

A car show sponsored by Superior Ford will offer a look at classic cars and hot rods in celebration of the Ford Mustang’s 50th anniversary.

“This event is a first to the region,” said Theresa Payment, director of the LaneRMC Foundation.

Presented by Americana, Lane Regional, Level Homes and Superior Ford, Code Red proceeds will benefit the many projects of LaneRMC Foundation, such as cancer treatment services at the new Radiation Oncology Center on Lane’s campus.

Teams can register online at LaneRMCFoundation.org or call Payment at (225) 658-6699.

Send events to Stacy Gill at sgill@theadvocate.com by 3 p.m. Thursday.