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BUCKHANNON – The temperature is finally dipping; the leaves are changing; and it’s getting spooky in ‘Boo-ckhannon’ (credit goes to the City of Buckhannon for that fun and seasonal pun).
As October’s end approaches, Buckhannon-Upshur residents can celebrate the haunted holiday by attending some classic – and new – Halloween events.
First things first
Saturday night, Oct. 19, is your last chance to enjoy a returning favorite in the southern section of the county: the annual hayrides and Spooky Night tours have returned to the West Virginia State Wildlife Center. The hayrides take guests around the trail to see native West Virginia wildlife from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Then, the Spooky Nights tours will start at 7 p.m. where guests are asked to bring flashlights and enjoy spooky decorations around the trail, as well as hot chocolate and cookies.
“We don’t do anything bloody or gory, we don’t do any zombies, that’s just not our thing,” secretary for the West Virginia State Wildlife Center Judy Channell said. “We want it to be family-friendly that’s why we call it spooky and not scary.”
The only price people must pay is the regular price of admission. There will be no extra cost for events. The regular prices of admission are $4 for adults and youth ages 16 and over; $2 for children and youth ages 6-15; and free for children under six years of age.
Count on Count ‘Dracula’ at the historic Colonial Theatre
The Buckhannon Community Theatre is getting in the Halloween spirit with their production of “Dracula” based on the Gothic horror novel, which runs Thursday, Oct. 24 through Sunday, Oct. 27.
All performances are slated for 7 p.m., and if you haven’t been in the theatre lately, you’ll have the chance to take in recent renovations.
Zombies and other events of the undead
An all-new event makes its debut this year as Traders Alley transforms into the site of a zombie outbreak, Monday, Oct. 28 featuring a child-friendly zombie walk. On Oct. 29, a scary, adult-only zombie walk will take place in the same locale.
“There will be a short form that potential zombies will need to fill out and if they like, they will be able to get their makeup done. All you have to do is show up in costume,” information coordinator/grant writer for the City of Buckhannon, Callie Cronin Sams, said. “Even if people just want additional makeup, the theater department from Wesleyan will be there to help with that.”
People looking to participate in the walk should arrive at the Colonial Theatre at 6 p.m., and the walk will start at 7 p.m. All zombie walkers will be charged a $5 registration fee, which will go toward the renovation of the Colonial Theatre. Children looking to participate in the Oct. 28 walk must be at least five years old, but younger than 13. Prizes will be awarded after judges determine their scores based on five factors.
Those include originality; makeup; costume; zombie movements; and sounds and props.
The Stockert Youth & Community Center will transform itself into a Haunted House from 7 p.m. to midnight, Friday, Oct. 25. Ticket prices are $8 for children ages 12 and under, and $10 for youth ages 13 and up. Please note that children under 12 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
Treats, sweets and a ‘Thriller’ flash mob
The Buckhannon Police Department’s Trunk-or-Treat is back and will take place the night before Halloween – from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30 in the Public Safety Complex parking lot on Florida Street.
“We partner with a number of different public safety agencies, fire departments, EMS, as well as other businesses and organizations from throughout the community,” Buckhannon Police Chief Matt Gregory said. “Generally, we have about 20 or 25 participating businesses and organizations, and it’s been very successful.”
Trick-or-treat in the city is slated for 6-7:30 p.m. in municipal limits and from 6-8 p.m. throughout Upshur County on Halloween, Thursday, Oct. 31.
Anyone up to get their groove on after trick-or-treating should swing by Jawbone Park at 7:30 p.m., where the Buckhannon Fitness Center will be hosting a “Thriller” flash mob dance to benefit LUV 4 Animals and the Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility. (For those who don’t know, a flash mob is when people assemble at a pre-designated location to perform a dance or other random act and then disperse.)
Buckhannon Fitness Center has posted videos on their Facebook page to help participants learn the dance, so as the page advises, grab your friends, dress like a zombie – this is optional – and assemble at the downtown park to dance to the Michael Jackson classic.
Participants are encouraged to bring donations to the event or to BFC fitness for the pound. Items may include Advantage for dogs and cats; gas cards for transports to no-kill rescue shelters, foster homes and fur-ever homes; cash for vetting services; leashes and collars; pill pockets; wet cat food; bleach; Kong toys; King fillers; and cat and dog toys.