DRIFTLESS - After a few years of COVID lockdowns, the Old Oak Inn in Soldiers Grove has come roaring back with the ‘Freakers Ball,’ planned for Friday, Oct. 28, with doors opening at 6 p.m.
Halloween is widely regarded as one of the most beloved holidays, dedicated to communing with the spirits of those who have passed, candy galore, tricks and treats, dressing up in the fantastic costume of your choice, and coming together as the harvest is coming in, the days getting shorter, and the temperatures colder.
An older name, used among inhabitants of the British Isles for the celebration was Samhain (Sah-win). Samhain was first observed by Celtic Pagans. Samhain marked the Celtic New Year, the end of summer, and the end of the harvest season. It also signaled the beginning of winter, which they associated with death. On this day, the Celts believed the veil between the living and the dead was especially thin.
This created the three-day observance known as Allhallowtide: All Hallows' Eve (31 October), All Hallows' Day (1 November), and All Souls' Day (2 November). It is widely believed that many of the modern secular customs of ‘All Hallows' Eve’ (Halloween) were influenced by the festival of Samhain.
Plans for fun
In addition to the Old Oak Inn’s wonderful lineup of Friday fish fry entrees and tasty adult beverages, the event in their event center will offer Halloween-goers a night full of holiday fun, theatre, great music and dancing, costume prizes and so much more.
Music will be provided by local musical talent Dylan Harris, followed by the Freaks of Nature. Cash prizes will be offered for the ‘Best,’ ‘Creepiest,’ and ‘Most Comical’ Halloween costumes, as well as a photo booth to have your Halloween creations captured for history.
A $15 entry fee includes: first drink, ‘CharGhoulerie,’ hors d’oeuvres and a doorprize entry.
• 6:30 p.m., The Players Theatrical Group will provide a live performance
• 7:30 p.m. Dylan Harris and Good Company will perform
• 9:30 p.m. The Freaks of Nature will begin a live performance.
More fun yet
As if the Freaker’s Ball at the Old Oak Inn isn’t enough Halloween excitement, even more fun is planned throughout the area. Fun options for Halloween, for young and old alike include:
• Village of Gays Mills Trick-or-Treat, Monday, Oct. 31, 4-7 p.m.
• Gays Mills Thirrd Annual Halloween Party, Monday, Oct. 31, 4-8 p.m., at the Community Commerce Center, with games, food, and music. A free will donation is asked, and all money raised goes back into the Village of Gays Mills
• Village of Soldiers Grove Trick-or-Treat, Monday, Oct. 31, 4-7 p.m.
Village of Readstown, Monday, Oct. 31, 4-7 p.m.
• City of Viroqua, Monday, Oct. 31, 3-5 p.m. on Main Street
• ‘Halloween Hop’ in Rolling Ground, Mt. Zion and Gays Mills. Costume judging times will be McCormick’s Rolling Ground at 9 p.m., Mt. Zion Pub at 10 p.m., Halver’s Town Tap at 11 p.m., and Dante’s Bar at 11:45 p.m.
• The Temple Theatre will offer a showing of ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m.
• ‘Halls of Terror’ in Prairie du Chien, on St. Feriole Island, is open on Friday and Saturday, from 7-10:30 p.m.
• Tiny Acres farm in rural Boaz is offering their Second Annual ‘Boo in the Barn’ on Sunday, Oct. 30, from 1-4:30 p.m. The farm is located at 26068 County E, Muscoda. They will also have special vendors selling food such as TKO Barbecue, Boaz Boosters 4-H Club, and Three Roosters Coffee. There will also be a haunted house for kids and games.• Ghoulees in the Coulees at Norskedalen Nature & Heritage Center, with a Family-Friendly Trick-or-Treat on Thursday, Oct. 27 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., haunted hikes from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28 through a historic homestead area lit only by the moon and glowing Jack-o-lanterns, and on Saturday, Oct. 29, an event called ‘Ghosts and Toasts.’ (guests will need to be 21 years of age or older). The evening will feature craft beer and wine tasting. Come before your hike to enjoy a few samples, stay after your hike to enjoy some more! Admission includes eight samples, one entrée, a commemorative glass, and an evening at Norskedalen unlike any other. Pre-registration is required.