February 21, 2010

SKOWHEGANHaunted hayrides promise a wicked good time

BY DOUG HARLOW Staff Writer

SKOWHEGAN -- Lefty gets the chair. The Killer Clowns. Zombie Boy Scouts.

Yes, it will be a scary time Friday night and Saturday night when the sixth annual haunted hayrides tour the spooky old Skowhegan State Fairgrounds.

"Haunted hayrides -- it looks like it's going to be a very fun year," said Cory King, executive director of the Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce, which is sponsoring the event. "The Killer Clowns are back, they've won the scariest scene award the last two years. Mark Poulin, he works in Fairfield, him and a couple of buddies dress up like scary clowns and they have a wooden backdrop of a tent. They play music and jump out of the shadows and scare the heck out of people."

The hayrides -- two pulled by tractors, one by a pickup truck -- will tour about a dozen scary scenes throughout the fairgrounds from about 6 to 9 p.m. both nights.

Rides cost $5 per person, all ages. King said the event is the Chamber's biggest fundraiser, and took in about $4,300 in 2008.

"Last year's edition of the haunted hayrides was the most successful one we have held, with just over 800 riders going on rides during the two-night event," King said. "The number of scenes increased last year compared to 2007 and it appears we will have even more scenes this year in 2009."

Other frightful offerings are to include a chainsaw massacre scene in which mannequins are ceremoniously cut to pieces. Area high school students have been invited to participate, to see which group can be the scariest.

There are trophies for the first three scariest scenes, King said. Riders will get to vote on which scene they think is the scariest.

There are two separate routes being set up this week, one in case of rain and one for if it doesn't rain, he said.

"At least our performers aren't standing around in the rain for three hours," he said.

King said the hayrides will leave in five-minute intervals and each tour will take about 15 minutes. There also will be concessions with hot dogs, popcorn, hot cider and cocoa.

On Saturday volunteers from Main Street Skowhegan also are slated to offer a scarecrow-building workshop for all ages beginning at 4 p.m., prior to the start of the hayrides.

For more information contact Cory King at 474-3621.

Doug Harlow -- 474-9534, ext. 342

dharlow@centralmaine.com

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