By Harley Nefe
Families and friends came together to get into the spirit of Halloween by participating in all sorts of spooky activities during Blowing Rock’s Halloween Festival on Saturday, October 30. From trick-or-treating to carnival-style games, hayrides, a scavenger hunt and Monster March, there was plenty of fun for everyone to enjoy.
Hosted by Blowing Rock Parks & Recreation, the Halloween Festival took place in the middle of downtown at Memorial Park.
“It went really well,” said Jennifer Brown, Director of Blowing Rock Parks & Recreation. “There were probably as many or even more people attending than what we expected. I figured it would be a big crowd since this is the first big event that we’ve had since COVID-19, besides our Fourth of July parade. I think people were ready to get back out and start doing some normal things with their kids. We had a pretty huge crowd, and we were pleased.
Around 1,000 people participated in the Monster March, which was a parade where attendees were invited to showcase their costumes. The parade route went from Park Avenue to Ginny Stevens Lane near Town Tavern and the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum.
“It was funny; I didn’t realize how many people there were because they lined up in the parking lot of the American Legion,” Brown said. “So, I only saw the front half of the group, and then when the Monster March started, I was sitting there, and it kept going and going and going. There were a lot of people there for sure.”
Directly following the Monster March, children were invited to go door to door at participating businesses for candy and treats.
“We absolutely couldn’t have done it without them,” Brown said. “All of our businesses are great from handing out candy after the Monster March and participating in the trick-or-treating. They’re wonderful to be willing to do that to help us out, so it was really great.”
Apart from the Monster March and trick-or-treating, many other events took place throughout the afternoon and evening as well.
“We had hayrides downtown; we had carnival-style games in Memorial Park; we also did a Moonlight Scavenger Hunt at Broyhill Park,” Brown said. “We probably had close to 60 people down there with flashlights trying to find items, and we had a packed night. It was really good. People really loved it. We also had a DJ in the park earlier in the day doing karaoke; we got a lot of great reviews about having that in the park, so it was a good addition this year.”
All of the day’s events have kept Brown and her staff from Blowing Rock Parks & Recreation busy, and with that, she extended a heartfelt thank you to those involved.
“Thank you to my whole staff for just being here,” she said. “We also have a recreation program management class that we work with at App State, and they helped out tremendously by organizing the event and games. It was wonderful having them help as well. I definitely couldn’t do it without my staff and them.”