For the past five years, locals, many in costume, have participated in the Hopkinton Center for the Arts’ Halloween 5K run. The HCA Wicked Weekend fundraiser is back again, this time with new activities to attract individuals of all ages.
The biggest addition is the Haunted Trail, a “Stranger Things”-inspired guided tour that will take place in the woods behind Hopkinton High School. This element of Wicked Weekend is designed to be a scary Halloween experience.
“It will be a full experience and very much a production,” said Kelly Grill, the executive director of the HCA. “It is themed along alternate dimensions, so you are kind of crossing through time.”
The Haunted Trail will be held on both Oct. 29 and 30 after sunset and is recommended for those 12 and older.
For a more family-friendly event, there is the Monster Mash, another new addition this year. It will be hosted outdoors on the evening of Oct. 29 at the HCA and will include games, music, dancing and snacks.
At the same time, Hopkinton Community Partnership will partner with the HCA to host the annual Trunk or Treat, a drive-through event with decorated vehicles, costumed creations and free candy and other goodies.
The HCA also is introducing a scarecrow-making contest. Starting Oct. 1, people can pick up free scarecrow frames from the HCA to decorate. Frames returned by Oct. 21 will be displayed at the facility.
“We want people to get creative, they can get started at any time, and it is just a fun thing to do,” said Grill.
Winners of the contest will be announced during the Monster Mash.
“People will be able to get out and Trunk or Treat, look at scarecrows and participate in Monster Mash,” said Grill.
The traditional Wicked Weekend events again will be a part of the schedule this year.
A scavenger hunt will take participants all over town and have two levels of difficulty, a challenging version and a more family-friendly one.
The event that started it all, the Wicked 5K Run, will take place on the morning of Oct. 30. The Wee Wicked Dash, a 100-meter race designed for younger children, will take place right before the 5K. All participants are encouraged to dress up in costumes.
“Some people like to run in a costume themed like the Incredibles or the Cookie Monster,” said Grill. “Last year, we had a team run as Mario Kart characters. So, get creative!”
Race participants are asked to consider fundraising for the HCA, either as a team or as individuals. Those who raise $250 will have their names entered into a lottery to win a gaming system.
The funds raised from Wicked Weekend support the HCA’s scholarship program and free events the organization runs throughout the year.
Registration is open for the events at hopartscenter.org.