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Scare Sites Needed For Annual Haunted Hayride
Spooky scarecrows guard a cornfield set up as part of a past Halloween Haunted Hayride event in Riverbank. An informational meeting for this year’s festivities is set for Sept. 12. News File Photo

There is a call out for all the people that love Halloween to bring their skills to a creative Haunted Hayride scare site. The Riverbank Parks and Recreation Department is seeking volunteers for the 2019 Halloween Haunted Hayride.

Volunteers for this event will plan and operate Scare Sites at the late October festivities. Planning a scare site at the event can be a lot of fun for families, groups, or organizations, and also gives you the chance to win the first place prize of $500. Second Place will receive $100 and Third Place will get $50. The Halloween Haunted Hayride will be on Friday, Oct. 25 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 26 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The Halloween Haunted Hayride is a mile-long ‘haunted house’ that utilizes the whole McRitchie Trail at Jacob Myers Park in Riverbank. Guests ride in trailers with benches pulled by pick-up trucks (about 10 to 15 guests are in each trailer). This is a Riverbank Parks and Recreation event that has been going on for the past several years on the weekend before Halloween to celebrate the season.

“Our ‘haunted house’ is composed of various ‘Scare Sites.’ These are basically scenes or elements of the Haunted Hayride created by each group that can be scary or funny,” said Recreation Supervisor Julia Petit. “They must be family friendly. The trailers drive by each scene, and await the surprise of what each site has in store for guests. This event is at night, and it’s dark, so we encourage groups to get creative with lighting, movement, and props.”

For each day of the event, each group is responsible for providing all of their own materials and setting them up before the event starts on Friday at 7 p.m. Planning out the scare sites can take various amounts of time depending on how detailed the site is.

“On each night of the event, volunteers with scare sites should plan to be at the park until about 10:30 p.m. or 11 p.m.,” added Petit. “Each trailer has a guide that joins the groups throughout the night. These guides are our judges that select which site should receive first, second and third place.”

For those interested there will be a Haunted Hayride Volunteer Meeting on Thursday, Sept. 12 at 6 p.m. in the Rotary Picnic area at Jacob Myers Park. This is a wonderful chance to get more information, ideas, and have questions answered about the event. Parks staff added that this event cannot happen if they do not have enough volunteers. They will decide if there are enough volunteers at the meeting.

For more information or questions call 209-863-7150 or email