Niehaus Park will be transformed into a scary trail of monsters, madness and mayhem for the sixth annual Haunted Huntingburg celebration this weekend.
It’s a welcome addition to the growing Haunted Huntingburg Blues Festival featuring scary fun, live music, outdoor family movies and craft beer, wine and spirits.
“This year we decided to go big and do the haunted house theme but do it outdoors,” Flamion said. “There really aren’t that many haunted houses in the area and we want to take advantage of that.”
Niehaus Park has a paved trail that intermingles through a wooded area next to the city’s driving range along State Road 64. A paved section was added in recent years that winds through a wooded area for about a third of a mile. The Haunted Trail will use the entire trail system for the different sets.
“We recommend 11, 12 years old an up,” Destination Huntingburg Executive Director Sarah Flamion said. “It’s going to be scary. There will be a clown section, a butcher section an insane asylum; yes, it will be scary. It. Is. Meant. To. Scare.”
Along with the scary features, dozens of volunteers have come forward to help.
“I think roughly 30 to 40 people have volunteered to be characters, or scare-actors if you will, to take part in the trail,” Flamion said. “Surprisingly, people like to volunteer for that kind of event.”
The haunted trail will be open from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday evening. Participants can park at Salem United Church of Christ and take a shuttle to the park. Tickets for the trail are $10 per person and can be purchased online or at the church’s parking lot.
The blues festival will open up Saturday morning at 11 a.m. in Market Street Park. The new park will be dedicated Friday evening with Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch in attendance and the festival will be the first event held there.
The headliner for the concert series is Boscoe France who will perform from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Birdland Blues, Eddie Rasche, Hog Maw and Amazing Soul Crackers will perform sets throughout the day.
Access to the Blues Fest costs $5 per person or $10 per family; children six and younger are free.
OFS Brands has sponsored a VIP Lounge in the Old Town Hall with a great view of the performances from the balcony featuring comfortable seating. Tickets for the lounge are $35 per person in advance and $40 the day of the event.
“You get a VIP seat right near the amphitheater,” Flamion said. “You’ll have cush seating outside, two top-shelf drinks and plenty of other VIP touches.”
VIPs will also receive a special shot glass, hors-d’oeuvres and a special cash bar. Tickets are limited.
Visitors 21 and older can partake in sampling craft beer, wine and spirits for an additional $5 fee. The vendors featured include local breweries like The Schnitz and St. Benedict Brew Works as well as Cedar Creek Brewing from Martinsville, Ind. The breweries will have pints available for sale as well as samples.
Cedar Creek Distillery will have several different distilled spirits available for sampling and will be selling cocktails and bottles for carry-out.
Wineries will include Cedar Creek Winery and Patoka Lake Winery. Both will have tastings, wine pours by the glass and bottles for sale.
Food and artisan vendors will also be on hand.
Kids can enjoy a zombie-free kids zone that includes bounce houses, face painting, henna tattoos and a pumpkin activity.
The music will be followed with the outdoor showing of the movie “Coco” at 8 p.m. inside Market Street Park.
Anyone wanting to get involved in the fun early can take part in a scavenger hunt through the stores along Fourth Street going on now. Participants are tasked with finding a scarecrow hiding in participating stores. If you find the scarecrow at all the participating stores, you get entered into a drawing for a prize worth up to $100. If you purchase a total of $50 from participating stores, you get entered in a drawing to win a prize worth up to $150.
Visit www.hauntedhuntingburg.com for tickets and more information about the Haunted Huntingburg Blues Festival (this Friday, October 12 and Saturday, October 13).
Along with the festival, the following activities will be taking place.
All weekend Fall Harvest Days on Downtown 4th Street will feature 4th Street Huntingburg shops having sidewalk sales, fall deals, and some fun treats/refreshments. Many stores will be having extended hours.
Take the “At the Old Haunted House” Story Book Walk from the Huntingburg Public Library down 4th street and read as “At the Old Haunted House” story progresses on the windows of Huntingburg’s Historic 4th Street.
The Teen Outback Family Costume Party & Hayride is a free event for the entire family, featuring games, crafts, and costume judging Saturday, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Teen Outback. Also enjoy music, computers, iPads, Xbox, Wii dance, carpet ball, pool tables, Skeeball, Pile Up, air hockey, and concession food and drinks. A hayride through the park is also planned.
Haunted Huntingburg Blues Festival schedule
7:30 – 10:30 p.m. “Monsters, Madness, & Mayhem,” haunted trail at Niehaus Park. Parking and a shuttle is available at Salem United Church of Christ; Tickets may be purchased online as well. Must be in line by 10 p.m. or at the parking lot by 9:50 p.m. This is recommended for a mature audience.
11 a.m. Birdland Blues opens the Blues festival and vendors and booths open; pumpkin painting at the Art Factory all day.
12:30 p.m. Eddie Rasche performs
2 p.m. Hog Maw performs
3:30 p.m. Amazing Soul Crackers performs
5 p.m. Crawl-o-ween winners announced
5:30 p.m. Boscoe France performs
8 p.m. Movie “Coco” shown on a large screen on the festival stage