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Haunted hayrides in North Lawrence winding down

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NORTH LAWRENCE - They’ve been scaring the dickens out of visitors to the Leary-Flint Road for five years, and there’s one more weekend to become one of the victims.

The annual Tri-Town Chamber of Commerce Haunted Hayrides have been rolling through the woods for the past two weeks, and they wrap up on Friday and Saturday. Money raised benefits one of the Tri-Town Winter Carnival activities.

“This is our fifth year. We do it for the benefit of the Kids Zone during the Tri-Town Winter Carnival. It pays for our entertainment,” chamber President Allen W. Fukes said.

The haunted hayrides are held at 94 Leary-Flint Road in North Lawrence. Two wagons, each holding 12 to 15 people, take the passengers through the woods. The hayride lasts for 15 to 20 minutes, he said.

The milder kid’s rides begin at 5:30 p.m., and the adults can have the daylights scared out of them starting at around 7:15 p.m., just when the daylight is fading and the woods are getting darker - and scarier.

“The kid’s ride start at 5:30 and go through to about 6:30, 6:45. It’s kind of a non-scary ride. The people that are out there in the field don’t jump out and grab them, and we don’t have the chainsaws banging on the side of the wagon. They just kind of stand around and wave at them and run around the graveyard a little bit,” Mr. Fukes said.

The adults, on the other hand, get a full dose of horror. There are some lit displays, along with costumed humans lurking around the corners.

“The adult one starts about a quarter after seven. That is the one that is pretty scary. They meet a lot of scary things,” he said.

The cost is $3 for students and $5 for adults.

Mr. Fukes said the experience has expanded since it beginnings five years ago.

“The displays that are out there have probably more than doubled over the last five years. There are 10 to 12 blow-up displays now. The first year there were two or three,” he said. “The first year I think there might have been 10 to 12 people out there. Right now it’s usually a minimum of 24 or 25. They come in and love to help out. We have masks for people who want to come in. All they have to do is come dressed in black or in a Halloween suit.”

Mr. Fukes, who has worked both weekends of the event so far, said they’ve had a good turnout for the fundraiser.

It’s been good. The first weekend was a little slow, which it normal. Last weekend was great. Saturday night was really good. We did 19 versus Friday night when there was 12,” he said.

The money raised will be used for the entertainment for the Kids Zone during the 2014 Winter Carnival. They’ll have Willie and Company, an act by ventriloquist Peggy Miller of Florida.

“She used to be up here. The last time she was in Brasher was a little over 20 years ago. She’s really anxious to come back to Brasher again,” Mr. Fukes said.

She’ll also provide the entertaining for the opening dinner of the Winter Carnival, which will be held Feb. 13 at the Knights of Columbus in Brasher Falls. Dinner and the show are available by reservation only, and tickets are $20 per person or $35 per couple.

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