The Dr. Screams Halloween event has a new location and a new opening day. The event first planned for Downtown Conway’s Riverfront Park, beginning tonight, will now open Friday at dark and everything will be at the Thompson Farm Brickyard Plantation, according to Dr. Screams spokesperson Jennifer Willard.
The event will still offer plenty of frights and fun in a Psycho Circus, haunted corn maze and haunted hayride, and the Halloween Town Fall Festival will include lots of gentle fun for kids.
The Halloween festival is the result of an agreement between Dr. Screams and the City of Conway, but as more groups and vendors kept joining the fun, the event grew so large that planners were afraid to hold it at Riverfront Park where they worried that the crowds they were expecting would be too close together and might damage the already busy park and its carefully manicured beauty.
Thompson Farm, located at 100 Brickyard Place, Conway, with its 30 acres will be a much safer place for the event, Willard said. Scott Thompson had already agreed to take part in the festival when it was planned for downtown.
The more vendors and food trucks, ponies and a petting zoo, that joined the festival as the event began to grow over the past couple of weeks caused organizers to realize that it might not be the best thing to crowd it into the park, Willard said.
The event will open at dark each evening through Halloween, except Oct. 19 and 20. The evening will continue until the crowds thin out, so Willard said they will likely be open a little later on weekends than weeknights, but will likely have their latest times on Halloween night when they expect to be overflowing with fright seekers.
Costs for the Psycho Circus is $10. A ticket for all of the attractions is $30.
These are walk-thru attractions that people enjoy at their own pace, and this year, due to the pandemic, social distancing will be required so Willard said, “Everybody has to be a little bit more patient.”
The Halloween Town Fall Festival will be offered from noon to 7 p.m. Oct. 17, 18, 24 and 25; 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 30; and noon to 7 p.m. on Halloween night.
Over at the Halloween Town Fall Festival, families get in free, but some events will cost. A $10 wristband will give a child unlimited play at the bounce houses, carnival games, petting zoo and more.
Events include the First Annual Scarecrow Row that consists of a display of fun scarecrows throughout the farm to be sponsored and created by area businesses. Organizers hope to have as many as 30 scarecrows. There will also be a variety of games and vendors, concessions and more.
Gary Bingham is Dr. Screams, and information provided by his company says he’s been haunting the Grand Strand since 1994 with his special production company focused on extraordinary-themed Halloween haunted attractions that offer fun and fright for all ages.
Bingham, who has contracted with the City of Conway for five years to produce the event, invited Thompson to participate.
“It’s going to be amazing this year,” Thompson said.
Thompson said special events are “kind of our thing”, so the invitation to join got an affirmative answer right away.
Thompson Farm will provide the haunted hayride.
“I already have the hay ride wagon,” he said.
Thompson’s folks will be in charge of the retail area where they plan to offer soft drinks and fair-type foods as well as pumpkins, cornstalks, hay bales, “glow” products and whatever else they think people might want.
“We’ll have preserves and stuff like that as well that seems to sell well at the farms – cider and more,” he said.
One of Thompson’s special products will be freshly-picked pumpkins that might be more expensive, but fright-seekers will know where the pumpkins were picked.
Thompson says he’ll stay onboard for the Christmas light show that Bingham is still planning for Downtown Conway.
Tickets are already on sale at www.drscreamsmb.com or go to Dr. Screams on Face