Businesses help witch walk

·3 min read

THUNDER BAY, ONT. — Thunder Bay Community Living is tearing a page from Cold Water, Ont., which hosts an annual initiative that raises funds and drives patrons to businesses boosting the community’s economy.

This year, Thunder Bay Community Living will host its version of a Witch Walk, where people can dress as witches and warlocks and visit businesses in the Waterfront district on Oct. 6. Each participant will be issued a map that they will carry with them to have them stamped by the businesses in a scavenger hunt-style format.

Judi Bedard, the public relations and event planner and fundraiser with Community Living, says they are excited to partner with the Waterfront district to raise funds to buy an accessible vehicle for their organization while showcasing the merchants and restaurants. Those funds, however, will take some time to accumulate.

“We need something that we can do every year so that the money will go towards this vehicle,” Bedard said. “It’s going to take a few years. The whole concept is to drive businesses into the downtown core and let people know what’s down here. Christmas is around the corner. People can start thinking about their Christmas shopping, and what the downtown core has to offer.”

She said people come dressed as witches and warlocks and they start at the Prince Arthur Hotel where they will receive their map of all the businesses that are taking part in the event, including the Gateways Casinos Thunder Bay. Participants will then head out to collect stamps on their map.

Businesses will participate in their own way through special offers or giveaways handed out during the event, providing games and activities with some even making a delicious witches brew.

Once the map is stamped, people can return to the Prince Arthur Hotel for a night of dancing, entertainment and beverages.

Prizes will be awarded for the scariest witch, funniest witch, best group and best overall witch.

Meanwhile, Community Living clients and local artisans are decorating brooms that will be available for sale at Downtown Volkswagen and at the event. T-shirts commemorating the event will also be available.

“There’s lots of things going on,” Bedard said. “We’re hoping to get a flash mob of the Witch’s Dance going throughout the downtown streets that night.”

Versions of the Witch’s Dance can be viewed on YouTube. The event has sponsorship from Douglas Chorawy-Manulife Securities, Downtown Volkswagen, Acadia Broadcasting-Country 105 and 99.9 The Bay, Pretty Little Pop Ups market, Gateway Casino, Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), Winmar Property Restoration Specialists, Janzen’s Pharmacy, Waterfront BIA, Thunder Bay Naturopathic Clinic, Ka-Na-Chi-Hih Social Services, Prince Arthur Hotel, and Something Blue DJ Service, which will provide music for the event.

It all gets underway on Oct. 6 from 6-10 p.m. at the Prince Arthur Hotel. Bedard is making her rounds to all the businesses to personally invite them to become part of the route. Tickets to participate in the evening are $20 and available online through Eventbrite, at Downtown Volkswagen or at the Thunder Bay Community Living office.

Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal