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Lakewood Main Street becomes Witch Way for Boo Fest

Ugly, scary, friendly attractions come to Lakewood Ranch

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  • | 12:20 p.m. October 26, 2016
  • East County
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Lakewood Ranch's Vickie Parker will be spreading some green goop across her cheek before sliding her wig into place.

She will be getting ready for another night on the town.

Her nights are quite different than most as the 67-year-old Parker's ensemble includes a green witch's nose and a long, black, pointy hat. She will be getting ready to embrace her witchyness in another theatrical performance.

It's time for Boo Fest in Lakewood Ranch.

“I’ve been in theater for 40 years, both directing and acting. It’s in my blood,” Parker said. “Last year (at Boo Fest), I dressed up as a zombie farmer. I was really ugly. My husband (Rick Parker) told me to lay down on the seat when we were on our way there."

Parker's stage on Friday, Oct. 28 will be Lakewood Main Street. She might be scary to look at, but friendly to approach.

"I'm going to be a friendly, ugly witch,” she said.

This year marks the 10th annual Boo Fest, the spooky, Halloween festival that returns to Main Street after a year at the Premier Sports Campus. This year's theme is "Wizard of Oz."

Parker has appeared at Boo Fest the past three years.

"I'm going to talk to people about Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man," Parker said. "The 'Wizard of Oz' is a show I've directed three times, so I know it pretty well. I'll also talk about not getting wet. I don't want to melt!" 

Although parking could be at a premier during Boo Fest, guests can take a ride on the Haunted Trolley to Oz, which will have characters on board to accompany them on a ride from overflow parking at Magnolia Green 3, 6901 Professional Parkway. 

Parking had been an issue before when Boo Fest was celebrated on Main Street.

“The original Boo Fest was always on Main Street, but it got so big, we needed to come up with a new solution so people wouldn't have to walk from University (Parkway) anymore,” said Kyanne Merrill, the events director at Lakewood Ranch Community Activities. "Now, with there being trolleys, it’ll help with the parking situation."

The Fish Hole miniature golf course in Lakewood Ranch  is ready for Halloween and Boofest.
The Fish Hole miniature golf course in Lakewood Ranch is ready for Halloween and Boofest.

The haunted house will be gone this year, but many other attractions have been added, such as  the Spooktacular Dark Maze. 

Last year's event drew an estimated crowd of 4,500.

“I’m really glad it’s back on Main Street because everything is right there and the atmosphere is more inviting," Parker said. "It’s prettier, and it seems like there’s more of a celebration because of all the lights.”

Several merchants are especially glad Boo Fest has returned to Main Street.

“We missed seeing the kids in their costumes everywhere,” said Debbie Driscoll, co-owner of The Fish Hole. “We’re so excited to have it back. As merchants, hosting events for locals is really important."


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