What would Sleepy Hollow be without a Halloween celebration? It would be just like any other town on the spookiest night of the year. No Headless Horseman, no movies about it, just another quiet little town.
Not something anyone in Sleepy Hollow would approve of and, happily, not something that will define this Halloween in Sleepy Hollow.
Sleepy Hollow’s annual Haunted Hayride will be taking place this year, but with a few twists. Ten31 Events, located in Connecticut, is assisting the Village in presenting a new adaptation of the classic Washington Irving story.
Ten31’s Event and Creative Director, Lance Hallowell, said he wanted to do this for the obvious reasons. "I’ve always had an affinity for the story itself and always wanted a reason to produce something here."
Hallowell previously produced the Misery Mansion FestEvil in Norwalk, Connecticut, which, during its seven-year run, had become the second largest event in Norwalk.
"We were looking for a project to do and when we heard the hayride might be cancelled, we offered to assist," Hallowell said. "It would be terrible to lose such a time-honored tradition. Things happened at the right time and it worked out for us to assist in this project and not let the tradition die."
As they have done in the past, Ten31 has partnered with the Make-a-Wish Foundation’s Hudson Valley Chapter to provide volunteers to help at the event. Mahopac National Bank, Tarrytown Honda, and the Village of Sleepy Hollow are also sponsoring the hayride. Though it is listed as a sponsor, Sleepy Hollow is not paying for the event but is, instead, providing support from the Department of Public Works and Police Department.
Hallowell said the Haunted Hayride is still a community-based event. "We’re just building kind of a team base, bringing a little of what we do to the event and asking the Village what they want so that we can help. We were looking to do an event; they were looking to cancel one so we said, "Okay, what do you need?" Perfect timing!
Hallowell said the hayride will be a good thing. "We’re trying to do something different," he said. "All I know is that I get my hands on things, they’re usually different. I’ve written a twisted adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It pays homage to the classic and we’ve worked in some mythical history of the Hudson Valley."
But if you want to know more, you’ll have to wait until the hayride because Hallowell isn’t telling. "We can’t give up all our secrets," he said. "You’ll need to be brave enough to venture forth this Halloween."
The Haunted Hayride will run October 16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th, and 30th from 7-10pm. There will be a Halloween Street Festival the evening of the 30th. Tickets may be purchased at JP Doyle’s Restaurant and Public House or online at www.thehauntingofsleepyhollow.com in addition to being purchased at the gate.