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La Crosse already planning 2022 Pettibone Haunted Mile

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A revamped Haunted Mile through Pettibone Park last weekend went so well, they’re already planning for next year.

The two-day event put on by the La Crosse Parks and Rec. Department included a family friendly evening on Friday and a “Fright Night” for adults on Saturday.

“I think it went really well, we had a really big turnout both nights,” Mikayla Walkes, with Parks and Rec., said. “I heard a lot of positive things from people Friday night and Saturday night.”

The big question everyone had going in was, well, going in. In 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, the Parks Department put on the drive-thru event in hopes of bringing some normalcy to Halloween.

The community loved it. So much, in fact, that the line of cars stretched to La Crescent in one direction and over the blue bridge in the other direction.

Haunted Mile 2.0 transitioned to a walking trail, so traffic was reduced to finding a parking spot.

Over 1,000 attended between the two nights. Friday’s event was free. Saturday was a $5 charge. The Parks Department raised $2,739.

S’mores — one of the most popular attractions at Friday night’s Haunted Mile.

Friday, there were s’mores, a jump house and games like spider ring toss and pin the tail on the cat. Saturday mostly focused on scaring attendees walking the Pettibone trail.

Overall the event went on without a hitch — almost. Friday, they ran out of ingredients for s’mores and had to run and get more. Walkes wouldn’t say whether it was marshmallows, chocolate or graham crackers, however.

Walkes said the department plans on continuing the Haunted Mile next year and hopes to get more volunteers, who helped with everything, including dressing up and scaring people on the trail.

“I think Saturday was a little short staffed, we could’ve used more people,” she said. “Next year, we are hoping for more volunteers.”

Sponsoring the 2021 Haunted Mile were local businesses, including Verve Credit Union, Altra Federal Credit Union, Festival Foods and Best Kept Portables. Verve set up a tent Friday and handed out candy to the kids — and maybe some adults.

Sam is a student at UW-La Crosse studying media communication and political science. She has lived in La Crosse for 5 years and loves everything about the community. When she’s not at school or work, you can find her outside hiking the state parks or watching Netflix with her two cats.

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