Halloween Hall’s final spooky celebration set for this week


On Oct. 15 and 16, the Ridgefield Art Association (RAA) will host its Halloween Hall event in Abrams Park at 6 p.m. This is the fifth and final year the event will be taking place.

The Ridgefield Lions Club will provide food and drinks, and Dance Fusion will return to provide tunes, including the Thriller dance.

Halloween Hall will be entirely staffed by volunteers, including up to nine seniors from Ridgefield High School.

For $5, you can stroll along a spooky path in the woods to enjoy the witches, spiders, skeletons, and other festive sights. Organizer and RAA Vice President Maureen O’Reilly said there is a great amount of preparation that goes into coordinating the event.

“Firstly, I have to contact the city for approval and get approval from the fire marshal to make sure it’s safe because it’s in a public park,” O’Reilly said. “I also have lots of volunteers to help set up and tear it down, which takes four intensive days. This is also our first time hosting it outside instead of Bennett Hall, which certainly changes things.”

O’Reilly said the Neighbors on Watch (NOW), a volunteer neighborhood watch program, will provide security for the event as well as guide traffic.

To get to the park, guests must walk on a trail alongside a creek, which O’Reilly said would present health and safety issues. To mitigate that, she has received a donation from Dean Maldonado, owner of FDM Development, who will erect a 600 foot fence to prevent people from falling into the creek. FDM Development will also donate safety lights.

O’Reilly and her husband, Chris Bidleman, were inspired to start the event because of the trick-or-treaters in their neighborhood.

“We used to live in a neighborhood called Bellwood Heights in Ridgefield, and it was known to have a ton of trick-or-treaters,” O’Reilly said. “So we decorated our house and made a haunted garden, which we did for two years. It was very popular, and we had over 100 kids come. It was so much fun for Chris and I to put up decorations. We decided to propose a haunted house to the city, which they hadn’t had for a few years. It was from there that we decided to turn it into a fundraiser for the RAA.”

O’Reilly and Bidleman have been members of the RAA for the past eight years. Bidleman currently serves on the board and O’Reilly has been the vice president for the past six years.

On Oct. 16, starting at 5:30 p.m., That Dam Volkswagen Car Club will have a “trick-or-trunk”  event. Attendees are encouraged to bring a bag for goodies.

All proceeds will go to the RAA.

For more information on the event, go online to ridge
fieldartassociation.com or to the  Ridgefield Art Association Facebook page.


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