The Strathmore and District Agricultural Society brought back the Stampede Fright Night for its second iteration over the weekend leading up to Halloween.
The project was in partnership with the Scott family in Strathmore, according to Ag Society CEO, Ryan Schmidt.
“It started with Christina Scott from (in) town here. She’s been doing haunted house mazes for a while and last year she approached us (asking to) rent a spot on (the stampede) grounds to do this event,” said Schmidt.
“Our event coordinator loved the idea and we decided to partner together to put on the haunted house mazes together. It brought the resources of the Ag Society to the picture and Christina’s incredible, frightening, spooky mind. She has a knack for developing the scariest of mazes.”
Stampede Fright Night featured three haunted house mazes, two that were geared towards adults and one for children, that were all built by volunteers.
These included “Your Worst Nightmare,” “Asylum of Strathmore” and “Little Buckaroos Spook.”
The event operated last year despite the onset of COVID-19 by allowing only 100 people on the stampede grounds at a time. Schmidt said roughly 1,500 people came through the event last year and expected a larger turn out this year.
Grounds attendance numbers were not limited like they were last year, but the event chose not to be part of Alberta’s restriction exemption program and required those going through the mazes to be masked.
The indoor mazes operated at one-third capacity and were spaced out to maintain social distancing. Only one group was allowed to pass through each maze at a time.
“We’ve completely redesigned everything … If you went through the mazes last year, you’ll get a completely different experience this year,” said Schmidt.
“It’s so incredible to see what a group of dedicated volunteers can put together. The quality of the mazes (is) unparalleled, this is not some little mash-it-together for fun thing. They are professional and profound and really scary.”
The event also hosted a pumpkin carving contest, kids’ carnival and a beer garden to round out the Halloween experience.
“So many great sponsors and volunteers have come out that it’s made it just fun to do … I wouldn’t describe it as a challenge so much as a really fun thing that we’re all doing together,” said Schmidt.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times