FAIRBORN — Fairborn streets will be taken over by ghosts, monsters, zombies and more Friday, Oct. 19 through Sunday, Oct. 21 during its annual Halloween Festival.
And this year, event organizers are predicting that it will have the largest crowd to date.
“Weather permitting — this is going to be the biggest event this town has ever seen,” Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Matt Owen said.
Facebook allows users to view pages highlighting upcoming events that gives details including when and where the event will take place. Users can also check whether they are “interested” or “going” to an event which can be visible to other users. Owen said an estimated 10,000 individuals attended Fairborn’s Halloween festivities last year, but he is predicting that more people will attend this year.
“This is a big deal. We have had (approximately) 240,000 views on the event’s Facebook page,” he said. “[The Facebook users] are mostly from the Miami Valley, but a small percentage [of Facebook users viewing the event] are from Indiana. Last year, people came from Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and Louisville who said they heard about the event on Facebook and made a special trip to Fairborn for the event.”
“On the event page for this year’s event, 12,000 (Facebook users) have said they’re attending,” Owen added.
The event will span across three days beginning Friday, Oct. 19 through Sunday, Oct. 21.
Road closures are scheduled throughout the weekend to accommodate the event. Main Street will be closed between Pleasant and Wright 3:30-11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19; 9-11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 and 9-6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21. Central Avenue will open at 11 p.m. both Friday and Saturday. However, Main Street will remain closed between Pleasant Avenue and Central Avenue as well as Central Avenue and Wright Avenue.
More than 60 street vendors are expected to sell items during the event, while more than 15 food vendors have committed to feeding Halloween festival attendees. A beer garden, offering adult beverages from Warped Wing Brewery, Yellow Springs Brewery and Heidelberg, will also be open 4-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the 5/3 Commons area.
Meanwhile, Foy’s Haunted Museum, located in the glow shop next door to the prop store across the street from 18. E. Main St., will open 6-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It costs $4 for children under 12 or $5 for anyone 12 and above.
“What we wanted to make sure we create is a Halloween festival for the entire family,” Owen said. “If spooky nights are not your thing, come during the day — but if you like to get spooky, we have that too.”
While the vendors, haunted museum and beer garden will be available most of the Hallo-weekend, each day has specific events planned aimed to please all members of the family.
Friday, Oct. 19
The Halloween Festival will kick-off Friday, Oct. 19 with the opening of amusement rides, the city’s annual costume contest as well as its Halloween parade parade, followed by live entertainment on Main Street.
The rides will be placed on the north side of East Main Street and will run 4-11 p.m. Mark Gearo will open the festival with his performance from 5-7 p.m. on the main stage located on Main Street. The Fairborn YMCA, located at 300 S. Central Ave.,will host games, crafts and seasonal activities from 6-7 p.m. in conjunction with the city’s annual costume contest.
The costume contest will be divided into age categories including: 0-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-9, 10-11, 12-14, 15-18 as well as adult, family, overall best couple and overall scariest. There is also a category for dressing up pets if individuals want to involve their furry friends. Judging will take place 6-7 p.m. If individuals wish to participate, they should hangout inside the gym at the local YMCA. The Spooktacular Parade will end the costume contest beginning at 7 p.m. and will travel from the YMCA to Main Street and conclude at the Main Stage.
One Hot Minute, a rock and country band, will take the stage 8:30-10:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 20
The amusement rides will open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Richens/Timm Academy of Irish Dance will perform. At Main Street and Central Avenue, The Dueling Dames, at ATS Bellydance Duet, will perform from 1:30-2 p.m. Rock-It 88, a 60s and 70s cover band, will take the main stage from 5:30-7 p.m. Youngsters can trick-or-treat at the booths from 6-7 p.m., followed by a performance by Stranger, an 80s cover band, from 8-10 p.m.
The annual Zombie Walk will transform ordinary citizens into creatures of the dark. Participants can meet as early at 6 p.m. at the Fairborn Senior Center, 325 N. 3rd St. If they choose to have their zombie makeup applied by a professional makeup artist, they can pay $6, otherwise participation is free. The zombies will walk from the senior center to Main Street beginning at 10 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 21
The city will wrap-up the haunted weekend with rides, games, vendors, food and shopping open from noon-6 p.m.
“Based on our numbers alone from last year, we are the largest Halloween festival in the Miami Valley,” Owen said.