David Broyles Staff Reporter
October 24, 2013
Holiday boredom doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance in downtown Mount Airy as Halloween approaches thanks to the efforts of groups including the Surry Arts Council, Mount Airy Downtown Business Association and Mount Airy Museum of Regional History.
Museum Executive Director Matthew Edwards said the fourth annual Boo Bash is set for Saturday at Old North State Winery from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. Proceeds from the dance will benefit the museum. The bash’s costume contest will return with prizes awarded for best male and female outfits, but costumes are optional for the bash.
“This is primarily an adult event but families are certainly welcome earlier in the event ,” said Edwards. “Our featured band is The Groovin Band which plays beach and oldies but also plans on playing some contemporary music.” The Groovin Band’s members are Staci McBeth on lead vocals, Erik Mowery on keyboards, Tommy Nelson on drums, Toy Steward on lead vocals, Jesse Smith on guitar, Rick Caudill on Bass and Dan Shull on saxophone.
Edwards said admission in advance is $10 and $15 at the door. He said seating is limited so participants are encouraged to buy tickets in advance or show up early the night of the bash. He said the benefit is one of three fundraisers held yearly by the museum with other dances staged on Saint Patrick’s Day and New Years Eve.
“Attendance has been improving and so has the quality of the costumes,” Edwards said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to have fun and let your inner kid out.” He said the price of admission also includes a brief ghost tour. The longer versions of the ghost tours will be held Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.
“We have worked our way up to holding a good number of ghost tours seasonally now,” said Edwards. “Of course the numbers go up in October but we are working to keep the tours fresh. We have expanded our amount of stories to 19 so guides may pick and choose which ones they use.” Edwards said the museum is working on developing stories based on Mount Airy’s “Little Chicago” days and looks to open the tour season next year with not only ghostly fare but stories of dramatic crimes.
The Surry Arts Council will hold a pumpkin decorating workshop at the Arts Council in the Andy Griffith Museum’s lower level on Friday. The workshop is open to all ages and the cost per person is $5. Materials are included and participation is limited to the first 50 who register. More information can be obtained by calling 336-786-7998.
Halloween events set for Oct. 31 downtown include trick or treating at participating stores from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. with three Halloween magic shows featuring Ray Hardee at the historic Earle Theater. Show times are 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Admission is free to all three shows which are sponsored by the council and the DBA and prizes will be awarded randomly at each show. Participants are asked to not bring candy into the theater. Concessions will be available.
Hardee has performed magic shows for the council previously and is the resident magician at the River Bank Zoo in Columbia, S.C. A Halloween costume contest will be held at the museum Thursday at 5 p.m. as well. The contest is open to all ages and is being sponsored by the DBA, the museum and WSYD.
“We have to it really going on,” commented Main Street Coordinator, Mount Airy Downtown Inc., Lizzie Morrison. “We’re considering getting part of the street blocked off for more safety because of the amount of kids we are expecting. We have had more kids participate each year. This is viewed by many as a safer option for families trick or treating.”
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or 336-719-1952.