How do you take a successful evening event for teens and adults and turn it into a great daytime event for a younger crowd?
You might want to ask co-chairmen Kate McEvoy Rice and Caleb Hodgdon at Boothbay Railway Village. They did just that on Saturday, Oct. 26 with the Railway SPOOKtacular.
The event provided Halloween fun for children, complete with train rides, a bounce house, carnival games, trick-or-treating at booths around the property and face painting, bracelet making and a creepy touch table inside the town hall.
More than 650 visitors came to take part in BRV’s first daytime Halloween event. Rice said she was happy with the turnout which exceeded her goal. “Our volunteers are critical and we couldn’t do this without them,” she said. About 40 volunteers helped.
“This year is a transition,” with the hope to attract a younger crowd than the evening “Ghost Train” which has taken place for about 25 years, she said. BRV is hoping to have both the daytime and evening celebrations next year.
Planning for the event took a group of six about a month to complete. Rice also praised the community for its response. “They didn’t want the tradition to go away,” and participated with decorated tables for businesses and organizations, including Boothbay Sea and Science Center and the Community Center. Businesses also paid for bounce houses and carnival games.
Visitors voted for their favorite vendors’ displays. Winners were Boothbay Harbor Apparel, first place; Bayside Inn Bed & Breakfast, second; and Boothbay Harbor Inn/Fisherman’s Wharf Inn, third.
The event had food vendors and efforts to raise funds for middle school students to visit Washington, D.C. and for high school students to visit Costa Rica.
“We are also very grateful to Pier One Pizza and Korey Lewis for donating the pizza we sold,” Rice said.
Proceeds from Railway SPOOKtacular are used for next year’s events and maintaining BRV.
BRV’s next scheduled event is North Pole Express on weekends beginning Nov. 30. For more information, contact call 633-4727.