Creatures, like these, that haunt Bilger’s Rocks’ annual hayride will have to wait until next year. The annual hayride has been canceled for 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

GRAMPIAN — Bilger’s Rocks Association has canceled its annual Haunted Hayride this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and will instead host a Halloween Fall Festival. The festival will be held Saturday, Oct. 24 from noon to 5 p.m. at the park located at 1921 Bilgers Rocks Rd., Grampian.

Association President Barbara McCracken said social distancing would have been required for the ride and it would have taken too many tractors and wagons and too much time to accommodate the crowd that normally turns out for the seasonal, family appropriate attraction to keep to the Center for Disease Control’s requirements.

“Someone suggested the association should have a haunted walk instead of the hayride but with all the rocks, tree roots and other tripping hazards at the park, we decided we would celebrate fall with a festival. Also you can’t count on the weather. If it were to rain in the days prior to the festival, it can get muddy here very quickly,” McCracken said.

The festival will feature a basket auction, children’s games and a flea market. Vendors are needed for the flea market. Space is $10 each or a donation of an item or themed basket for the raffle. The donation should be valued at a minimum of $10. To reserve space or for additional information, call 236-3597.

The association is also looking for musicians to donate their time and talents to provide family-friendly entertainment on the park’s stage. Those interested may also call the above telephone number for additional information or to schedule a time.

Conklin’s Concessions, the park’s concession stand’s manager, will offer a number of Halloween themed lunch and dinner specials and other food available for purchase. The park’s educational center will be open throughout the afternoon. Those touring the center will be required to wear face masks,

There will be several contests in the afternoon. They include a Jack-O-Lantern contest that begins at 2 p.m. Judging will be held at 4 p.m. Those attending should bring a decorated or carved pumpkin they have created at home. The contest will feature two age groups infant to age 6 and age 7 and older.

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A scarecrow making contest will begin 3 p.m. Participants, of all ages, should bring their own clothing and accessories for the scarecrow.

The association will provide the form and the straw.

There will also be a scavenger hunt throughout the afternoon.

A costume contest will be held at 4 p.m. One winner will be chosen in each of four categories, scariest, cutest, ugliest and most original. The winners will be chosen by the vendors participating in the trunk or treat.

Trunk or Treat will be held from 5-6 p.m. Vendors are needed to treat children. There is also a contest for the best decorated trunk. The winner will receive a $50 gift card. Vendors will be spread out and volunteers will assist to help children stay socially distant, McCracken said.

The basket raffle winners will be drawn at 5 p.m. Winners do not need to be present to win.