Cape Breton park goes ahead with annual fundraiser amidst COVID-19 pandemic
HALIFAX -- The Two Rivers Wildlife Park in Cape Breton is going ahead with their biggest annual fundraiser despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The popular Fright Night 'Into the Fog' Fundraiser includes ghosts and ghouls who haunt a wooded trail at the park.
"Well, it's kind of funny to see grown adults get scared by 13 and 14-year-old kids," said Georgia Clements, a volunteer for the fundraiser.
This year the event almost didn't happen, but after speaking with public health officials, the park made a last-minute decision to go ahead with COVID-19 restrictions in place.
"This year, we are selling tickets by the hour instead of for the evening. So, you'll have to purchase your ticket for seven, eight, nine, or 10 p.m.," said Linda Hayes, with Two Rivers Wildlife Park. "We are going to have people taking numbers and counting how many people go in."
Organizers say masks are required while walking the trail.
Fright Night is the biggest annual fundraiser for the not-for-profit park that depends on those dollars for the colder months of the year.
The fundraiser is known to draw more than 1,000 people at a time.
"It helps us survive through the winter and take care of the animals that are here," said Hayes.
Despite COVID-19, or maybe because of it, Hayes says she has more volunteer animators than usual this year.
Volunteers for the fundraiser say the best part is giving people a fright.
"Really scared, they usually jump and scream" said Kaydee Mann, who is volunteering this year.
"Last year when I was in a cabin, I hid behind a door and someone jumped, and almost hit their head off the roof. So, I see a lot of jumping and a lot of screaming," said Clements.
Organizers hope they'll get good crowds, despite being in a pandemic.
"There's not a whole lot going on, and Fright Night is a night of fun," said Hayes. "Everybody who comes loves it. They come back. I started volunteering 14-years-ago and I have not been able to leave."
This year's Fright Night runs Oct. 16, 17, 23, 24 and 30.
Tickets are $16 each and are on sale now.