RIVERS — After more than 1,000 thrill-seekers showed up to this year’s Haunted Forest event at Lucky Break Ranch near Rivers, event co-ordinator Kim Richardson is promising that next year’s event will be even bigger and better.
“We’re super excited to do it again next year,” Richardson said.
The event ran from Oct. 27-30 at Lucky Break Ranch, just off of Highway 250, outside of the community of Rivers, located 41 kilometres northwest of Brandon. No-scare hours earlier in the evening gave way to thrills and chills as Halloween lovers brave enough to venture into the dark forest were greeted with eerie displays and actors ready to pounce.
In a field nearby, carnival games were set up for children and a concession stand served up tasty treats like popcorn, hotdogs and soda.
“It’s been nothing but compliments with people saying they can’t wait to see it next year again,” Richardson said.
Putting on the event was a team effort with volunteers and the Rivers Chamber of Commerce.
Dave Falkevitch, who sits on the chamber, said as a Halloween lover, he was keen to get involved in the project.
“The turnout has been incredible,” Falkevitch said.
“It pretty much goes without saying that people are ready to burst out and get doing things again.”
With donations from the event going toward charitable causes, including local Rivers organizations and the Canadian Cancer Society, Falkevitch said he felt glad about volunteering his time alongside Richardson and other volunteers to make the event a success.
“Everywhere you look around, people are affected by cancer pretty much every day.”
Roxanne Mason, a six-year-old who dressed up as a unicorn skeleton to go to the event, said the forest was “very scary.”
Deston Wrightson, who attended the event with his friends, said he really enjoyed his walk through the dark forest.
“We did get jump-scared, so I’d say it was worth it.”
While Richardson hadn’t yet tallied the total amount the event managed to raise, the Sun will follow up in the coming days.
And although spooky season has come to an end for another year, Richardson is already planning new and exciting elements to add to next year’s forest.
Miranda Leybourne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun