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Downtown Fright Night 2008

The 2nd annual night of Halloween fun happens October 25

By Michael Summers


Fort Wayne Reader


On Saturday, October 25, zombies, ghosts, goblins and monsters of all stripes — as well as a few superheroes and princesses — will descend on downtown Fort Wayne for the 2nd annual Fright Night, a family-friendly evening of Halloween activities hosted by different downtown organizations.

The Downtown Improvement District is sort of ringleader for Fright Night, though mainly the organization just provided coordination and support. It’s really downtown organizations like ARCH, the Embassy Theatre, the Grand Wayne Center, the ACPL, the Botanical Garden and the History Center, among others, who are responsible for making Fright Night happen. “One of the great things about Fright Night is that it’s really a community event,” says Michael Waskiewicz, marketing director at the Downtown Improvement District. “There’s not really one organization that puts it together. The D.I.D. sort of works with all these great downtown organizations on crafting a really wonderful Halloween activity.”

The festivities kick off at the Allen County Library. T.A.G. Art will be there for face painting at 3:00 pm (first come, first serve).

Zombie Walk
The Zombie Walk takes its first lurch at 4:00. Hundreds of folks, including local celebrities, will lurch, stumble, and drag themselves through the streets of downtown. Put on your finest tattered Zombie fashions, slap on a little Zombie-esque make-up, and start staggering. It’ll be just like your favorite post-apocalyptic Zombie movie — except without the terror, panic, and craving for human brains.

After terrorizing your way across six city blocks (lead by Several zombified staff members of WAJI Magic 95.1), you’ll end your march at the Grand Wayne Center…

Grand Halloween Spooktacular
Like last year, the Grand Halloween Spooktacular at the Grand Wayne Center is packed with family-friendly activities — a kiddie costume parade, glowing “Ectoplasm” slime courtesy of the Mad Scientists at Science Central, spooky art from the FWMoA, storytelling by T.A.G., a Halloween treasure hunt, terrifying plays from Firehouse Theater… all that, and free candy, too! Don’t forget to wear your costume. And FREE parking is available at the garage on the corner of Jefferson and Calhoun.

ARCH Haunted Tours
All through the evening, ARCH will be offering their popular tours of Fort Wayne’s spots of historical weirdness and unusual happenings. There’s actually three types of tours — the Haunted Bus Tour offers a Southside tour (5 pm and 9 pm) and a Northside tour (7 pm and 11 pm), both leaving from the Indiana Hotel lobby (except the 11 pm tour, which leaves from the Masonic Temple); and there is also the Fright Site Hikes, a walking tour of the immediate downtown area (also leaving from the Indiana Hotel lobby). The perennial favorites, like “The Lady In White” who haunts the Mainstreet Bridge will be on here, as well some new chilling tales, like the flood of 1913. “I can’t tell you all the details, because it would blow the fantastical coolness of it,” says Lori Graf of ARCH. “There are lots of gruesome but true stories about Fort Wayne. They’re interesting, true, and not too scary, meaning they’re appropriate for children.”

Old City Jail
In other historical creepiness, the Allen County History Center lets you take a peek into the Old City Jail in the basement of the History Center on East Berry. The old jail saw its last inmate in 1971, but the iron cells that witnessed plenty of misery in their day remain. You can also see the noose, bandages, and other chilling artifacts from the 1883 execution of Sam McDonald (including his murder weapon) in the museum's underground level.

At 7, magician Dick Stoner presents a show at the Embassy. Stoner is a bit of a Fort Wayne legend in his own right. His blend of comedy and magic has been entertaining people for years, and not just in Fort Wayne. His career includes performances for celebrities (he was at Muhammad Ali’s 50th birthday party) and stints as the opening act for music groups.

Nosferatu — the Original Vampire
Then at 7:30, the Embassy Theatre will show the classic 1922 silent vampire film Nosferatu, with a live soundtrack provided by Dennis James on the theater’s Grand Page Organ. Nosferatu is the original vampire flick, and still a creepy treat today, especially with the thunderous live music accompaniment heightening the mood. Organist Dennis James has been in Fort Wayne several times before, including last year when he accompanied The Black Pirate on the Embassy stage.

Late Night Events
For less family-friendly fare, revelers have two choices. The ARCH Halloween Costume Ball begins at 8 pm and goes until midnight at the Masonic Temple Grand Ballroom at 216 East Washington. Duke Tumatoe and the Power Trio will rock the Temple beginning at 9:00pm, and there will also be a costume contest, refreshments and a cash bar.

At 9:15 over at the Botanical Gardens you can check out The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Those of a certain age remember when this sci-fi/horror musical was a midnight movie staple at theaters all across the country. Though Rocky Horror has been available on DVD for a while, the Fright Night showing gives people a chance to see the movie the way it was meant to be seen — late at night in an audience full of weirdoes.

The schedule:

Zombie Walk 2008
WHEN: October 25, 2008
WHERE: ACPL, 900 Library Plaza
TIME: 4:00 Walk Starts, 3:00 Face Painting (first come, first serve)

'Grand' Halloween Spooktacular
WHEN: October 25, 2008
WHERE: Grand Wayne Center, 120 West Jefferson Blvd.
TIME: 5:00-7:00 p.m.
There are several activities on deck at the 'Grand' Halloween Spooktacular. These all-ages activities are fun for the whole family… and don't forget to wear your Halloween costumes!

Kiddie Costume Parade — Hosted by WAJI Magic 95.1's Dirk and Jeanette
Ghost Slime — Get Slimed by Science Central
Halloween Art — Jitters provided by Fort Wayne Museum of Art
Spooky Storytelling — Scares provided by T.A.G. Art
Halloween Balloons — Provided by T.A.G. Art
LIVE Spooky Plays — Nightmares presented by the Firehouse Theatre
Halloween Treasure Hunt — Fear presented by the Downtown Improvement District

Haunted Sites Bus Tour
WHEN: October 25, 2008
WHERE: Indiana Hotel (next to Embassy)
TIME: 5:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m., 11:00 p.m. (departs from Masonic Temple)

Southside Haunted Sites Tour — 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm

North Side Haunted Sites Tour — 7:00 p.m and 11:00 p.m. (the 11:00 p.m. Bus Tour will depart from the Masonic Temple Parking Lot at 216 East Washington (at Clinton).

Tickets are $10.00 for adults and $5 for children under 18, when accompanied by an adult. Bus Tour tickets will be sold on a first-come, first serve basis on Oct. 21, 22, and 23rd, from 4pm to 6pm at the Arts United Center Box Office, 303 East Main Street. Call ARCH at 426-5117 for additional ticket information.

Haunted Walking Tours
WHEN: October 25, 2008
WHERE: Indiana Hotel Lobby
TIMES: 7:15 p.m., 8:15 p.m., 9:15 p.m., 10:15 p.m. (10:15 departs from Masonic Temple)

Walking tours will be $5 for adults and $2 for children under 18. Tickets will be available on Oct. 25th beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the Indiana Hotel Lobby at the Embassy Theatre. Walking tours will be restricted to 20 people per tour.

Old City Jail
WHEN: October 25, 2008
WHERE: History Center, 302 East Berry Street
TIMES: 4:30 - 9:00 p.m.
COST: Admission is $2 per person

Stoner's Magic Show
WHEN: October 25, 2008
WHERE: Embassy Theatre
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
COST: FREE (with paid admission to Nosferatu)

WHEN: October 25, 2008
WHERE: Embassy Theatre, 125 West Jefferson Blvd.
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
COST: $7

Halloween Costume Ball
WHEN: October 25, 2008
WHERE: Masonic Temple, Grand Ballroom, 216 East Washington Blvd.
TIMES: 8:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
COST: $10 per person. Please contact ARCH at 426-5117
AGES: 21+

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
WHEN: October 25, 2008
WHERE: Botanical Conservatory, 1100 South Calhoun Street
TIME: 9:15 p.m.

For more info, visit www.downtownfrightnight.com

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