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BooFest comes back to town

By Staff | Oct 19, 2018

Volunteers at the 2018 BooFest celebration welcome visitors to the event. Submitted photo.

SHEPHERDSTOWN — While ghosts and goblins may visit towns across the country only on Halloween night, in Shepherdstown, they’ll be visiting for a few days more. The annual BooFest celebration makes the most of the spooky season by cramming in activities the weekend before, all the way to the end, of All Hallows Eve.

Begun in 2013, BooFest has taken the celebration of Halloween to new and exciting heights each year. This year is no exception.

The annual festival brings with it a variety of activities for all ages, kicking off with the showing of “Bride of Frankenstein” on Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. in Reynolds Hall. Some would say the real kick off begins later that same evening, as the annual Vampire Ball welcomes costumed revelers to the ballroom of the War Memorial Building at 9 p.m. for a night of frolicking and fun.

The Vampire Ball, which is the brainchild of mother-and-daughter duo Judy Shepherd and Jenny Haynes, has become a favorite of those who enjoy the costumed affair, offering live music, refreshments and contests for best costumes. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Shepherdstown Community Club, who own the War Memorial Building and Morgan’s Grove Park.

Although now five years old, the BooFest celebration continues to grow every year, making it the area’s largest extended Halloween celebration.

The events are geared toward all ages, bringing families together, while still offering some separation of the ages. On Oct. 27 and 28, a little something will be available for everyone, with events scheduled throughout both days.

Children’s events abound as the library offers several story times, art activities fill the street and families can take carriage rides throughout town. Games and other happenings are on tap over the weekend, including face painting opportunities, additional movies including a “Ghostbuster” marathon at Reynolds Hall on the Saturday afternoon before Halloween and a special Children’s Story Walk behind the Little House that Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.

Rounding out the entire BooFest celebration will be the always exciting night of trick-or-treat in downtown Shepherdstown on Halloween night, beginning at 6 p.m.

Coming back this year to BooFest is the Thriller Dance and Witches Street Party on King Street, on the Saturday evening before Halloween, at 6 p.m. Individuals will learn the famous dance and then perform it in the street in front of Town Hall. Witches involved will host a tea earlier in the afternoon, at 4 p.m. at the Shepherdstown Community Club.

While at the Community Club for other events, or as an event in itself, visitors should take a gander at the Haunted Hallway, another offering headed up by Shepherd and her children, Jenny and Chris Haynes. What historically began as decorating her home, Shepherd expanded to the War Memorial Building several years ago, adding more and more ghoulish decorations to give the jitters to even the most die-hard Halloween fan. While not so “scary” as to intimidate visitors, the Hallway is definitely on the spooky side.

Mystery walks and ghost tours top off the days-long BooFest event, along with an adult-centered Creepy Cocktail Crawl along German and Princess streets on the evening of Oct. 27.

Visitors are encouraged to come in costume to appropriate events, bring the family to enjoy days in Shepherdstown and patronize businesses that join in the community-wide Halloween festival.