Athol Lions Haunted Hayrides in 20th year, to take place Friday, Saturday

  • Actors await the arrival of the first wagon of visitors at last year’s Haunted Hayride at Silver lake. The troupe put on a frightful skit, portraying the blood bucket scene in Stephen King movie “Carrie.” Submitted photo

Published: 10/10/2018 2:48:26 PM

ATHOL — The Athol Lions Club will present two nights of fright-filled fun at its 20th annual Haunted Hayrides, on Friday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 14, at Silver Lake.

The Lions have been planning the event for the past few months and project co-chairmen Ricky Misner and Dave Bishop are putting the finishing touches on the layout of the new skits around the perimeter of the lake.

While the Halloween hijinks are under (mummy) wraps, sources say there will be new surprises awaiting visitors this year. Included are spooky creatures, nightmarish characters, and other attractions to keep you watching over your shoulder. The Club plans to use five tractor-pulled hay filled wagons for event-goers’ convenience. The wagons are driven slowly from one spot to another where actors perform a variety of skits. Safety is of the utmost importance, and the committee holds mandatory safety meetings for all participants prior to the start of the event each night to review the rules. There is a security crew in place and the club also hires a police detail each year. The club’s bright yellow food truck will be fully staffed by Lions serving up burgers ‘n dogs, hot and cold beverages and other treats. Porta-potties are provided on site for convenience and the L.S. Starrett Company has donated use of two of its parking lots on lake and Fish street for an easy walk to the Lake Park playground at Fish and Lake streets.

The ticket tent will be nearby, and the line for the wagon rides will wind around to the right, near the playground parking area.

There will be only three wagons for free, non-scary rides for preschoolers (accompanied by their parents) from 5:45 to 6:15. This is first come, first served.

The scaring begins when darkness falls. For these rides, admission is $8 for adults, and $5 for children age 12 and younger.

Proceeds from this event benefit many local charities supported by the Athol Lions, including scholarships, eye and hearing cases, local sports teams, Salvation Army, Athol Area YMCA, DARE, Food-a-Thon, the Alan E. Rich Environmental Center’s accessible boat dock, Council on Aging holiday dinner, Foundation Fighting Blindness, District Sight and Hearing Fund, Mass. Association for the Blind, Mass. Lions Eye research, Sightmobile, All State Band, Barton Center, 4 Paws for Ability, Youth Speech Contest, Worcester Free Clinic, and World Service Day.

The rain date is Sunday, Oct. 14.

For more information, or to volunteer or join in on the fun, call Misner at 413-522-6899 or Bishop at 978-401-5684.

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