What began as a family party has become a two-day-long, spooky township tradition.
The fifth annual "Eakfest" returns to town Oct. 19-20, bringing with it ghosts, goblins, food and fun – as well as the chance to help those with cystic fibrosis, an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States
According to event organizer, Alicia Eak, the event’s festivities will include a haunted trail, hayride, carnival rides, a game room, and plenty of treats and sweets.
“Our hayride is kid friendly,” she said. “It’s not scary at all. The haunted trail is scary, but each group gets three guides so if a child gets too scared, they can be escorted out.”
Eakfest was inspired as part of a long-standing tradition in Brick's Eak family to host yearly Halloween parties. Eventually, the parties got large – 100 guests could be expected in Alicia Eak's yard – and there was talk of letting another family member handle the festivities.
The year the tradition was about to change, Eak's 12-year-old daughter was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, and when she asked for the tradition to continue, no one could say no.
The party was eventually turned into one which the entire town was invited to, and ever since has been hosted as a fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
More than your average Halloween party, the once-backyard event has turned into a celebration that rivals many of the largest Halloween attractions in the region.
Hayrides, plus the haunted trail which will open following the close of the hayride at dark, are some of the event's biggest hits.
“The hayride and haunted trail take the same path [through the woods outside the fire house] but the trail is much more scary and has people jumping out,” Eak said. “There’s different movie sets [that guests will see], plus other surprises.”
The “goul-free” game room will be available on Saturday, only, in addition to a DJ, face painting, and more. Each activity ranges in cost from $1 to $5.
All proceeds from the hayride, haunted trail, game room, shirt sales, and the dessert table, and a portion of sales from other vendors will go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. For more information on Eakfest, visit www.eakfest.com.
The event will be held at the Pioneer Hose Fire Company from 4 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 19, and 3 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 20. It promises a “sweet” time for children of all ages.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which benefits from the event, is dedicated to finding a cure to the disease and supporting diagnosed families. More information can be found at www.CFF.org.