Thrills and chills on Main
Annie Kane (left) is the ‘alive’ witch in this display in the Haunted Garden.

IB/Chalifoux

Thrills and chills on Main

Story By: RICK CHALIFOUX
10/22/2015


BAY SHORE—Last Saturday evening, families and friends donned their favorite costumes and flocked to Main Street in Bay Shore for the first annual Haunted Halloween Festival. The community event—dubbed “A Main Street Spooktacular”—was sponsored by the Bay Shore Beautification Society and the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Bay Shore, along with support from the Bay Shore High School student groups and the Great South Bay YMCA/Boulton Center. The range of festivities featured the first-ever costume parade and red carpet contest, a haunted garden, a carved pumpkin contest, and a dance rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” It all made for an immersive, animated affair filled with thrills, chills, and plenty of fun.

One of the event’s main attractions was certainly the Haunted Garden, which returned for the fourth-consecutive year. The elaborate display featured a wide variety of Halloween-themed props, decorations, scenery, and light/sound effects, complemented by the presence of real-life participants in full costume—mostly student volunteers from Bay Shore High School Drama Club.

“This is community in the truest sense of the word,” said Gina Lambert of the Bay Shore Beautification Society, founder and leader of the event. “It’s fun for all of us. It’s a group effort where everybody comes down to help. It’s amazing how many people get involved and we’re so grateful for all of the volunteers chipping in.”

Lambert said that the Haunted Garden always draws a large crowd, forming a line extending all the way down the street.

“A lot of people come back every year because they love it so much,” she said. “Some even get back on line and come in again.”

Many of the materials are donated by Harry Brown and Mike Dolan from the Bay Shore Alumni Association. Local artists also contributed original pieces specifically for the occasion.

Greater Bay Shore Chamber President Donna Pericone expressed great enthusiasm for the attraction and the group that put it together.

“Isn’t it unbelievable?” she asked. “It’s so fabulous and detailed. They are the most incredible group you’ve ever seen. Everything they do is mind-boggling.”

Shortly before the Haunted Garden was set to open, Bay Shore High School senior Joy Norris was nearby preparing another group of students to perform her own choreographed dance to Michael Jackson’s smash-hit, “Thriller.”

“It’s nice to be able to have people watch your choreography and share your own art with people,” said Norris. “I was able to take a dance that many people know and put some of my own flair in it as well.”