Haunted hayrides return Kewanee: Here's how to get Bakersville tickets now

A macabre clown poses for photos with kids standing in line at a previous Bakersville Halloween event.
A macabre clown poses for photos with kids standing in line at a previous Bakersville Halloween event.

Bakersville, the haunted hayride through Baker Park, is making a return, and tickets are available for the October event.

Casandra Swearingen, who co-chairs the Bakersville Committee along with Kelsey Neels, said that for months the committee has been working hard on the preparations.

“We are in a really good place,” she said. “We have been going at this for months behind the scenes.”

With over 100 volunteers, the event is only missing a few key pieces. Swearingen said the committee is still on the lookout for a group of volunteers with experience parking cars. Another area where the event is lacking is with volunteers interested in doing “jump scares.”

Volunteers for “jump scares” wouldn’t be required to do much acting, she said, or have much interaction with the crowd, but they are an important part of the hayride experience.

All of the main acts and performers are in place. Swearingen said they did lose one group, but they were able to quickly replace it.

New to the event this year, and something that the committee hopes will prevent long lines, will be timed-racks. Starting at 7 p.m., each rack will go out exactly 12 minutes apart. People will be able to purchase tickets for a specific time. Swearingen said that ticket holders will need to arrive a half-hour before their rack is scheduled to go out in order to keep things running smoothly.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 15 from 7 p.m. to midnight, but Swearingen said it may be possible to extend that time for another hour depending on the ticket sales. The rain date is scheduled for the following Saturday on Oct. 22.

The Bakersville Committee is partnering with the Kewanee Park District for this year’s event, and there will be the addition of more entertainment and food options.

“We hope to make this a more family-friendly event,” she said.

The theme this year, “The Nightmare Returns” will be playing off the 2019 theme of “E.E.’s Nightmare.”

Swearingen said the goal was to keep things simple after coming back from a two-year loss.

Pre-sale tickets have already arrived and can be purchased for $8 on Mon., Wed. and Fri. from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kewanee Park District office, and at Cerno’s Bar & Grill on Tues., Wed. and Thurs. from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“I know things have gotten expensive this year, but we were pretty firm in trying to keep this affordable,” said Swearingen.

More information on volunteering for the event and tickets can be found on the Bakersville Facebook page.

This article originally appeared on Star Courier: Haunted hayrides return Kewanee: Here's how to get Bakersville tickets