This year on Halloween morning, a couple hundred people, many in costume, will run a 5K to raise money for the Hopkinton Center for the Arts, as the HCA hosts the fifth annual Wicked Weekend fundraiser.
“We were looking for something different and fun for a fundraiser, and we are a theater, so we love costumes and love getting dressed up,” explained Kelly Grill, the executive director of the HCA.
Two volunteers, Ilana Casady and Erin LaPrad, had run in 5Ks before and were able to help organize the run. Runners start outside of the HCA, go around Loop Road, then run on Center Trail before they make their way back to the HCA. The event usually attracts a mix of runners — some serious athletes and others who are participating for the memories.
There also will be a Wee Wicked Dash (100 meters) for younger runners, which will take place before the 5K on Halloween morning. All participants are encouraged to wear costumes.
“Half the fun is how creative people are, and the costumes are amazing,” said Grill.
In past years, families have done group costumes. One year a woman ran in a costume that made it look like she was holding her head.
When runners come back, the festivities will continue with music, dancing, refreshments and giveaways. This year, runners will be able to support the HCA even more by creating a fundraising page through the HCA website. Those who raise $300 will have their name put into a raffle for a gaming system.
Last year, COVID forced the HCA to change the format of its run.
“People really couldn’t be together to run, so they did run virtually,” Grill said. “But we wanted to add something that people could do safely outside, and as a family, so we added a scavenger hunt, just as a fun activity.”
The scavenger hunt was a popular event, so this year HCA brought it back and created two versions of it. Both will take place on Saturday, Oct. 30. For the slightly easier version, participants are given a list of Hopkinton businesses where they have to take pictures.
In the more difficult version, participants are given clues and figure out which businesses to visit. If participants hit most of the places on the list in either version, their names will be entered into a raffle.
The HCA also will host its first Wicked Weekend Halloween Dance. The dance will take place inside the HCA (masks required). There will be a DJ, food, a costume contest and prizes for those over 21.
“Adults can get dressed up and go out and have a fun celebration the night before Halloween,” Grill said.
The money raised from the Wicked Weekend event will fund scholarships that help students participate in theater, art and music and support free community-wide events.
Participants can register for any of the events via the HCA website at hopartscenter.org/wicked-weekend-oct-30-31.