Oregon District’s Hauntfest returns Saturday: What you need to know

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

The region’s largest, outdoor Halloween party is returning to Dayton’s Oregon District 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28.

This year’s Hauntfest theme is Sci-Fi, originating from the UFO lore surrounding Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Aliens who supposedly crashed near Roswell, New Mexico in the late 1940s, along with their ship, have been said to be stored in a Wright-Patt hangar.

Hauntfest organizer Mary Burnside, who also owns Clash, thought it would be fun to pick a theme that resides with the community in some way. Attendees can expect many of the performers to take part in the theme. Performers at Fifth Street and Jackson Street include an Astronaut, E.T., Killer Klowns from Outer Space and Men in Black. Other artists plan to perform with LED hoops or other props that glow.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

In addition, there will be a local vendor area with Halloween-themed items in the Lucky’s parking lot and a dedicated food truck area in front of Wiley’s Comedy Club. Official Hauntfest merch will also be available with designs by artist Jason Goad.

Burnside has helped plan Hauntfest for the past two years.

“I love Halloween,” she said. “It’s my favorite holiday, my favorite time of year. To me it’s kind of more like a lifestyle.”

Burnside recalled her first Hauntfest when she moved to Dayton from West Virginia. At the time, she was 19 and working at the Nite Owl, where Blind Bob’s is located today. She said her favorite part then and now is seeing people in their costumes.

At Clash, Burnside often helps customer curate their Halloween costumes.

For those dressing up, there will be a costume contest at 10:45 p.m. on the main stage at Fifth Street and Wayne Avenue. Contest categories include Best Overall Costume, Best Couple or Group Costume and Best Sci-Fi Costume. Winners will receive cash prizes. Hauntfest has a strict weapons-free policy. No weapons real or fake will be permitted.

Pre-sale tickets are available online only for $10 until Friday, Oct. 27. Tickets will be $15 at the gate. Gates open at 6 p.m.

For more information about Hauntfest, visit www.theoregondistrict.org/hauntfest or the Oregon District’s Facebook or Instagram pages.

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