Alexa Cano, coordinator of the annual Wickedly Whiting festival, has advice for first-timers making their way to her city’s annual October/Halloween celebration.
“During the day, it’s more kid-friendly,” she said. “As the night progresses, you’ll see a change. It will get progressively scarier throughout the day.”
The event runs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday in downtown Whiting on 119th Street. This year marks the third running of “Wickedly,” the annual autumn celebration created by the Whiting-Robertsdale Chamber of Commerce.
Geared towards Halloween-minded fans young and old, “Wickedly” will host costume contests for youngsters up to 12 years of age as well as aerial acts and performances by dance ensembles. Event presenters are also bringing more daring entertainment to the festival confines, such as contortionists, acrobats on broken glass and fire eaters.
According to Cano, the diversity of entertainment in the “Wickedly” lineup was a goal in bringing a unique experience to area festival goers.
“It started out as us wanting to do something different from the regular Oktoberfests,” she said. “Everybody has an Oktoberfest and (the mindset was) ‘what would make us stand out? What would make us different?’ So we went with an all Halloween theme.”
To say that the “Wickedly” founders were surprised at the annual festival’s inaugural turnout would be putting it mildly.
“The first year, we were expecting 5,000 people or so,” Cano said. “We had 20,000 people come out.”
In addition to the entertainment, approximately two dozen Region-based food and drink vendors will be on hand alongside two dozen craft, retail and Halloween-themed items vendors.
Also, a handful of area bands and musicians are scheduled to perform at the festival’s food tent.
“Bring your family and bring your friends,” Cano said. “Bring somebody that you can hold onto.”
Additionally, the Whiting-Robertsdale Chamber of Commerce will host a Monster Dash on Friday. Participants will have the chance to run along Whiting’s Lakefront Park alongside monsters and zombies, who have their sights set on runners.
Registration for the Monster Dash is at 6 p.m. and the run kicks off an hour later.