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Annual Halloween Festival and Thriller Parade continues despite rescheduling

Students of Dance Attack Dance Academy perform their interpretation of Disney’s “Haunted Mansion” during the Halloween Varieties Show at the Halloween Festival and Thriller Parade on Nov. 5, 2023. Photo by Casey Sebastiano

Halloween enthusiasts gathered for the annual Halloween Festival and Thriller Parade at Masterson Station Park. 

The event was held on Sunday, Nov. 5 after being postponed due to bad weather.

Lexington community members attended the event in costumes to watch the Halloween Varieties show, Thriller Parade, and enjoy food and drinks provided by local vendors such as Louisiana Passion and Bert’s SpeakCheezy.

The Halloween Varieties show featured multiple acts from groups based in Lexington. 

Dance Attack Dance Company performed their interpretation of Disney’s “Haunted Mansion” and the March Madness Marching Band showcased their act, “The Last Circus on Earth,” alongside many other performances.

Justice Ashburn said she was cast as Ola Ray in the Thriller Parade’s annual “Thriller” reenactment.

“I love being on stage, it’s just such a fun event,” she said.

Justice Ashburn said she has kept the tradition of attending the festival with her mother, Brandy Ashburn, and sister, Jalee Ashburn, for eight years.

“We’ve been coming since Justice was nine,” Brandy Ashburn said.

Brandy Ashburn dressed up as zombie Mario and her daughter Jalee dressed up as zombie Luigi. 

The family said they love the environment of the festival and plan to keep the tradition alive for years to come.

While the festival has become a tradition for some, it brought some newcomers to Masterson Station Park as well.

First-time attendees Candance Summers and Cody Peck said they did not have anything to do for Halloween until they found out about the festival. 

Summer attended the event as Vessel from the band Sleep Token. She said her costume was an at-home project that lasted almost the entire month of October.

“It took maybe three weeks or so combined to put together,” Summers said.

Summers said Halloween is tied with Christmas for her favorite holiday. Peck, who dressed up as Mermaid Man from “Spongebob Square Pants,” said Halloween is his second favorite holiday, only falling behind Christmas.

As Summers and Peck wandered around the grounds, they got a look at the food vendors. Peck said the first thing to catch his eye upon entering the festival was not the scary costumes, inflatable pumpkins or even the people dancing on stage, but the roasted corn. 

“I saw the roasted corn and was like ‘I want that right now,’” Peck said.

Peck and Summer said they were looking forward to seeing the annual Thriller Parade after enjoying their roasted corn. 

The parade featured dancing, music and participants throwing candy to attendees watching from the sides to close out the festival until next year.

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Casey Sebastiano, Managing and News Editor

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