FAIRBORN — Fairborn will unofficially become “scareborn” as it hosts the 8th Annual Halloween Festival.
The yearly spooks are set to take place Friday, Oct. 18 through Sunday, Oct. 20 at multiple locations within the community, with most events taking place on Main Street. Activities include the festival, a costume contest, parade, zombie walk, live entertainment, games, bounce houses, beer garden, vendors, food trucks, booth trick-or-treating and more.
Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Matt Owen said approximately 108 booth spaces had been reserved and more will be for sale within the Main Street Commons area (formerly known as 5/3 Commons) where the beer garden will be taking place. Costs for a 10-by-10 space is $125 for the entire weekend with no electricity.
He said the stage this year has been moved from its former location to the center of Central Avenue and Main Street, which is where the stage was located for the Fourth of July celebrations. Two beer distributors are set to provide cold ones in the beer garden and the chamber is working to ensure a third will be available for the event.
“If the weather is good, we’re expecting numbers like there were two years ago — there were 10,000,” Owen said. “If there’s good weather, we’ll see that attendance again.”
The Secret Chamber House of Oddities, 17 W. Main St., will also be celebrating its second anniversary during the event and has some special activities planned. All performances and offerings by the house of oddities are donation-based and will take place either inside the shop or in front of it, where two booth spaces will be set. Foy’s Haunted Museum, 18 E. Main St., is also set to open from 6-11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18 and Saturday, Oct. 19.
Friday, Oct. 18
The festival will take place 4 to 11 p.m. along Main Street. Nawty Dawg, who Owen described as “retro,” will kick-off the live entertainment at 5:30 and play until 6:30 p.m. The costume contest and judging is set to take place from 6-7 at the Fairborn YMCA, 300 S. Central Ave. There will additionally be games, crafts and more hosted at the YMCA by the Fairborn United Methodist Church. The contest will be divided among eight age categories, as well as categories highlighting adults, families, couples, animals and overall scariest. First, second and third place awards will be given in each category. The annual spooktacular parade will take off from the Fairborn YMCA and loop through Main Street to the main stage, where the winners will be announced and called onto the stage.
Local band Retrobution, who Owen said plays a number of 80s tunes, will close out the evening with a performance slated for 8:30-10:30 p.m.
The Secret Chamber House of Oddities will offer tarot card readings by Marta Mari beginning at 7:30 p.m. inside the shop, as well as belly and fire dancer performances outside the shop by Lily Datura, Scarlett Fire and L.C. Mercy.
Saturday, Oct. 19
The festival will open at 11 a.m. Richens/Timm Academy of Irish dance is set to take the stage from noon-12:30 p.m. followed by the Lifted Lotus dance Company at 1 p.m. The Dynamic Dance Center will follow at 2 p.m. Then the Quest Dance Center will take the stage at 3 p.m. Rock It 88, described as the “house band of the event” and an 80s cover band, will perform from 5-6 p.m. Mad River Dogs, who Owen described as a country/bluegrass band, will follow at 6:30 until 7:30 p.m., while Beesly, who performed at the festival two years ago, will take the stage from 8-10 p.m. Owen said Beesley covers and plays their own original rock songs.
Meanwhile, festival attendees who are interested in becoming a member of the “Night of the Living Dead” for the evening are invited to participate in the annual Zombie Walk.
Participating in the Zombie Walk is free, although attendees can have their zombie-themed makeup applied by a professional for $6 at the Fairborn Senior Center, 325 N. Third St., as early as 5 p.m. The zombies will gather for the walk at the senior center and will take off at 10 p.m. and make their way to the festival main stage along Main Street. Forms for participation are available at the chamber office, 12 N. Central Ave., any Foy’s stores or at the event.
The Secret Chamber House of Oddities will host Authors Yvonne Tibbs from noon to 4 p.m. and JJ Philips from 4-7 p.m., as well as a variety hula hoop dancers including Ashley Marie, Meg Elyse and Katie Goralski beginning at 7 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 20
The festival will take place from noon to 6 p.m. Booth trick-or-treating for children is slated for 1-2 p.m. through the festival.
The Secret Chamber House of Oddities will offer a pour art demonstration at 1:30 p.m. by Meg Shepard.
“We’re seeing more families and strollers at the festival,” Owen said, highlighting that there are just as many activities geared toward children as there are for adults. “This isn’t a scare party. We’re hoping families come out for trick or treating with their kids.”
Contact Whitney Vickers at 937-502-5432.