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City Slates Spooky Halloween Hayride
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Riverbank Parks and Recreation Department will host its annual Halloween Haunted Hayride this Friday, Oct. 21 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 22 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Jacob Myers Park in Riverbank. The cost is $7 for adults, $5 for children 4- to 12-years-old and children under three years are free when they sit on a parent's lap. Come and enjoy the sounds, screams and haunts of Halloween, encouraged officials, but be warned that it is designed to be a spooky experience.

The volunteers who build the scary scenes in the woods and populate them with an animated cast of ghosts, goblins and ghouls each season have been working on this year's event for several weeks now, said Kerrie Webb of the Parks and Rec Department. This last Monday they began visiting the park to assemble a forest of horrors.

Last year, in fact, it rained on the haunted hayride, forcing organizers to halt the Friday night event at 9 p.m. and cancel the Saturday night ride entirely as steady rain set in that afternoon.

There were still 300 or so brave souls who caught the ride Friday night. Riders of the hay bale wagons generally total about 500 or so each night and wait patiently in line for their turn to view the haunting scenes.

The weather forecast for this week, by the way, is for clear skies if a little chilly after sundown.

Scenes coming early on the trail last year included a band of zombies trying to hold down the lids on coffins from which "corpses" were still eager to rise; an ultra light plane that had "crashed" in the trees with the pilot and passenger lying beneath the wreckage; and a zombie bride in a white but bloodstained sheet waving a sword over a headless groom who had jilted her at the altar.

That's just a sample. Be prepared for anything, said officials.

For more information, contact Webb at 863-7150.