Oregon District’s Hauntfest returns this weekend

One of the largest, outdoor Halloween parties in the Miami Valley is returning this weekend to the Oregon District.

The 36th annual Hauntfest is Saturday, Oct. 29 from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

“It’s definitely an experience,” said Andy Rowe, president of the Oregon District Business Association and manager of Blind Bob’s. “It’s a chance for Daytonians to come together to celebrate and enjoy the spirit of our neighborhood.”

Rowe told Dayton.com the idea of this event came from a few bars in the early 1980s throwing Halloween parties and having large crowds. He said in the mid ‘80s it was turned into a more structured event.

Hauntfest, organized by the Oregon District Business Association, will feature a costume contest giving away thousands of dollars in cash prizes, street performers, live music, a giant dance party, beer trucks, food trucks and much more.

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The theme for the event is “Freakshow, A Dark Circus!” Attendees are encouraged to wear costumes. Prized will be awarded for Best Individual, Best Group and Best Theme.

Rowe said his favorite part of the event is seeing the different costumes. He recalled coming to the Oregon District when he was young just to see them.

“When I was a younger person and it was a bit more unstructured, you would see sort of a parade of costumes start walking up and down the street when it was still light out,” Rowe said.

Organizers want to remind guests Hauntfest has a strict weapons-free policy. No weapons real or fake will be permitted.

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Tickets for Hauntfest are $10 presale and $15 the day of the event. Presale tickets are available online. Some businesses in the Oregon District have presale tickets as well.

Rowe said proceeds will not only benefit the Oregon District Business Association but other nonprofit organizations in the area.

“The Oregon District is Dayton’s vibrant, nightlife area,” Rowe said. “This is usually the prime example people think of when they think of Dayton nightlife.”

Attendees must be 18 to attend Hauntfest and 21 to drink.

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

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