The Signal Mountain Middle/High School Sports Boosters' second annual Halloween Fest at McCoy Farm & Gardens is expanding this year to include another — scarier — night of the Haunted Barn.
"Last year the line was so long, and it was a lot of work for the few hours people got to enjoy it," said event chairwoman Amy Speek.
The new Friday night Haunted Barn is intended for middle- and high-schoolers as well as adult Halloween enthusiasts, she said. It will debut Oct. 27 at dusk (around 7-7:30 p.m.) and run until 11 p.m.
A slightly tamer version will be held during Halloween Fest Saturday, Oct. 28, with the Haunted Barn open from dusk to 10:30 p.m. Both nights will allow visitors to enjoy the company of blood-hungry parasites, deranged freaks and other creepy characters.
Halloween Fest will be held from 5-10:30 p.m., and also coincides with the 5k Zombie Trail Run and "not so scary" fun run. The 1-mile fun run will begin at 5 p.m., the 5k at 5:30 and race awards at 6:30. Participants, who are encouraged to come in costume, will each receive a flag to wear during the run, and "zombies" will attempt to steal runners' flags before they finish the race. Runners still in possession of their flags at the finish line will be considered "survivors," and those who weren't so lucky labeled "infected," said Speek.
The festival will feature activities for all ages, including human foosball, in which participants are tethered to one another on an inflatable "table;" smashing pumpkin baseball, a human wrecking ball, a bounce houses for big and little kids, and an inflatable maze. There will also be face painting, carnival games and a free outdoor showing of "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."
For adults, college football games will be shown in the pavilion next to the Beer Garden, and wine will also be available for purchase in the Wine Vineyard, a new addition for this year's event.
Attendees can also buy food from vendors such as Chick-N-Nooga and The Grilled Cheese Emergency.
"It is fun for the whole family," Speek said. "It's set at McCoy Farm, which is just a perfect venue for a fall event. Really, there's no other place to be that day."
Last year's inaugural event drew more and more people throughout the night as attendees shared the fun they were having on social media, she said.
"We had a huge turnout last year," said Speek. "It's such a good way to bring the whole community together. We hope to see everyone come out."
Activities require between one and 10 festival tickets, which can be purchased with cash at the event for $1 each. Tickets purchased in large quantities are available at discounted prices, or attendees can purchase arm bands granting access to unlimited activities, aside from the Haunted Barn, for $40 until Oct. 27 or $50 the day of.
Zombie Run participants may register up until the day of the race, though the $30 fee will be raised to $35 that day. To be guaranteed a T-shirt, participants must register by Tuesday, Oct. 17. Haunted Barn tickets for Friday night are $12 in advance or $15 at the door.
To register for the run, purchase activity tickets or for more information, visit signalzombierun.com. Parking for the event will be available at Pruett's, Walden Commons and Ashley Plaza, and shuttles will run to McCoy with continuous pickups beginning at 4 p.m.