Halloween event set for Oct. 30Volunteers and sponsors still needed for popular Haunted Woods Trail
By: Emily Zimmer, Rosemount Town Pages
While Rosemount’s Haunted Woods Trail has some similarities year in and year out, there is always something new for annual visitors to see. The catch is, you have to attend to find out what it is.
“We try to keep it fresh every year. There will be a couple surprises here and there,” said event chair Mike Bouchard.
On Oct. 30 the all volunteer event will take over Central Park to entice and sugar up Rosemount's children. It's a popular event that in recent years has drawn more than 2,000 people to downtown Rosemount.
The trail, which winds around Central Park, gets transformed from a pleasant walk to a path of tricks and treats with a few laughs mixed in. It's not a scary haunted trail but offers all the Halloween delights young children enjoy.
A lot goes into the two hour event. Because it's in a public park volunteers have to set up all the props and sets the day of the event. So, starting at 8 a.m., dozens of loyal helpers will make their way to the park to help transform it. Set up includes carving more than 100 pumpkins that are donated by a local grower, putting up sets and blowing up inflatable props.
It takes most of the day to get everything ready, but Bouchard said it's worth it.
The success of the Haunted Woods Trail is dependent upon volunteers. Bouchard said anyone interested in helping should show up to Central Park Oct. 30. Set up usually goes from 8 a.m. to sometime mid-afternoon.
“I'm not going to turn anyone down,” said Bouchard.
Weather plays a big role in the success of the event so Bouchard hopes for clear skies. If all goes well he hopes 2,700 people will show up.
Last year the event boasted an attendance of more than 2,700 people. Pretty impressive for an event that nearly died a few years back.
The Halloween event has taken place in one form or another for 28 years. It started as a collaboration of Rosemount residents, high school drama and theater clubs and city staff. Games were set up in the high school and the Haunted Woods were set up in Carroll's Woods.
Then the Halloween Blizzard of 1991 dumped more than 40 inches of snow and destroyed many of the props and sets used for the event. Groups continued to offer the games at the high school, then at the community center, but the event floundered.
Then, in 2001, a group of residents decided to reinvent the concept of a haunted trail in Central Park. That year only 300 people showed up for the event. Since then the group has expanded the trail and attendance has risen dramatically.
Trail tours begin at 6 p.m. Bouchard said the last group will usually start through about 8 p.m. Free will offerings will be taken at the front as will non-perishable food donations. The free will offering is the event’s only income.
Kids are encouraged to dress up in their Halloween best. However, more importantly Bouchard warned that everyone should dress for the weather. Kids should bring a bag or bucket to collect treats.
For more information on Haunted Woods Trail visit www.rosemountevents.com. To volunteer call Mike Bouchard at 651-423-4603.