With details still to be resolved, it appears Kathy Sacher Wilson’s popular Idyllwild Haunted Ghost Town will move to Town Hall for its 12th year.
Wilson confirmed an agreement in principle with Riverside County Regional Parks and Open Space District. The month-long event, from Friday, Oct. 9. through Halloween night, Saturday, Oct. 31, would feature a live-action and animatronics walk-through Haunted Ghost Town spook fest, a Haunted Hayride and Zombie Run.
According to Wilson, the Ghost Town would be built behind Town Hall, the Haunted Hayride would take place at the Nature Center, with shuttle rides from and to Town Hall, and a Zombie Run would take deathly detours throughout town, exact routes to be determined.
Wilson said all ticket proceeds would go to Town Hall recreation, earmarked to fund sports scholarships for area kids and teens. In the past, Wilson’s events have netted from $4,000 to $8,000 annually, an amount she noted could make sports participation in Town Hall programs possible for a large number of Idyllwild youth. “This will fund a lot of scholarships and help support Town Hall sports programs, with T-shirt purchases and other related expenses,” said Wilson.
“My focus [with the Halloween event] is to get local youth and young adults out of the house, away from computer screens and video games and outdoors where they can breathe some good, healthy mountain air,” she related. “I also want to introduce my cast and crew of 75 to 100 locals to community volunteerism.” Wilson’s volunteers perform many functions before, during and after the event — building sets, constructing costumes, coordinating special effects, helping with ghostly and ghoulish makeup, and performing as live actors determined to earn a screech or two from guests.
Wilson said the walk-through ghost town would be newly built, with new lumber and many new effects. Local contractor and actor Jacob Teel has volunteered to coordinate construction. Wilson said the county would also provide some logistical and construction support.
“We’ll have a community barn-raising on Saturday, Sept. 12, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to get the basic structure built,” said Wilson. “We’ll feed volunteers with a lunch barbecue.”
For more information about the Halloween festivities, email Wilson at [email protected].