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Norskedalen’s Ghosts and Toasts fundraising tasting event this Saturday

Live music, storytelling, games, and an optional hike pair well with craft beer and wine to support the Coon Valley Nature and Heritage Center.

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Two big events to celebrate Halloween at Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center in Coon Valley.

While the Goulees in the Coulees family Halloween events for Thursday and Friday night have sold out, there are still tickets for the 21-and-over event Saturday night.

The second year of Ghosts and Toasts will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Norskedalen (map).

Lori Dubczak, Norskedalen’s executive director, told Z93 they started the event last year for adults who want to get in the spooky season spirit.

The event will have dozens of craft beer vendors and winemakers and food from their concession stand. A $35 ticket will allow tasters to try eight samples of their choice and an entrée.

“We have the storytellers in the homestead and we’ve got some games going on that you can partake, and Tom Conrad is going to be with us in the shelter doing what he does so well,” Dubczak said.

Tickets must be purchased in advance on their website, and will ask for a hike reservation time. Tasters can enjoy the other festivities before and after their hike.

While it’s not a “scary” hike, the trails are lined with jack-o’-lanterns; Dubzak said they carved 300 pumpkins last weekend.

“We’ll have someone guide you on the hike, you know, so that you don’t get lost in the woods. You know, the thing about hiking in the woods at night, if you hear that wolf, was it recorded? Is is real? We know we have bobcats and wild animals, so it’s still spooky.”

Ticket sales help to maintain Norskedalen. Dubczak pointed out they have 400 acres, and have had catastrophic floods in the last several years so your ticket price helps maintain the repairs that they’ve made.

“We have served over 1300 students in our education programs this year and they don’t pay the full cost of that because schools can’t do it. So your ticket price helps us offset the fees for the school so that the kids can still come out.”

Norskedalen has also created two new trails this year they hope to have open in December.

“Can you imagine a brand new trail with fresh snow?” Dubczak asked.

Definitely something to look forward to, and a great reminder that Norskedalen is open year round.

With an extended forecast prediction of sun and 61 degrees Saturday, it’s hard to get too excited for snow, yet.

Tracy has worked at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 2004. She is half of the Z93 Morning Buzz with Brittany and Ballzer and coordinates Z93's charity, Zcare. She writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse and announces for the Mississippi Valley Mayhem Roller Derby team.

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