This year the theme was The Forgotten Prison on Haunted Hill (note to town officials - where in the world did you get the name Halloween Castle?). The display was a prison block with entrance through a pair of guard towers, prison cells with a few unfortunate souls and a surprise at the end! The surprise ended up being on us.
We had planned to have been open October 29-31 (Wednesday, Thursday and, of course Friday) from 6 to 9 PM. Guest that came on Wednesday and Thursday were able to enjoy the decorations as intended. We were anticipating 500 to 600 guest over the three nights to enter (and we were expecting that at least some would make it back out)! We had put together 400 goodie bags, with 2 pieces of candy and a toy in each one, for the younger children that came. Unfortunately, most of the guest arriving on Friday night found that the decorations had been taken down and they just drove away disappointed.
As many of you now know, somebody in town filed a complaint and town officials (Building Commissioner and Zoning Enforcement Officer Brien E. LaPorte and Fire Department Captain Mark Babineau) came out on Halloween Day at 2 PM (remember, we started setting up the decoration on October 1st) and shut us down. If you look at the yellow DANGER sign that was posted you will notice that under 'Refer To Ordinance No' they filled in 'NA', in other words, there is apparently no law against having a temporary holiday display of decorations!
The town officials mentioned above did not identify who the complainer was, nor did they identify what the complaint was. We can't help but wonder what would happen if we were to use the same materials and props, as well as some (highly flammable) straw for ambiance, to set up a créche display for Christmas. Of course, like every other Christmas display in town, we would have to use quite a few extension cords for all those holiday lights to work.
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