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St. Charles’ Historic Main Street becomes a ‘ghost town’ as Legends & Lanterns takes over

By: Ellen Lampe


Soon, Historic Main Street in St. Charles will become a ghost town – literally! During the last two weekends of October, Main Street comes alive as ghostly guests “float” around and tell their tales, dozens of scarecrows take up shop, and hayrides, spooky live entertainment and more festive activities are abound. This one-of-a-kind event celebrating all that is Halloween is known as Legends & Lanterns: A ‘spirited’ journey through Halloween history. Here’s what you need to know before you go:

Festival hours:

Saturday, Oct. 2011 a.m.-6 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 21noon-5 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 265-8 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 2711 a.m.-8 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 28noon-5 p.m.

Ghost stories:

Join the Halloween History Guides at the First Missouri State Capitol in the Chauncey House for a spirited, interactive retelling of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” – a horror story from the 1800s known for its spooky character, the Headless Horseman.

Ghostly Guests:

The hallmark of the Legends & Lanterns festival is the appearance of its Ghostly Guests. Visitors have the opportunity to rub elbows with the most famous [or infamous!] villains, witches, spirits and phantoms from history and folklore.

Ghostly Guests include well-known classics such as Edgar Allen Poe, the Big Bad Wolf, Medusa, Blackbeard and Miss Havisham; guests whose names hold a bit more mystery, such as Baba Yaga, the Druid Priestess, Stingy Jack and Baron Samedi; and many others whose stories you’ll want to hear!

Although these Guests have decided to make Main Street their new favorite haunt, there’s no need to worry – these silly apparitions have more treats than tricks to offer for festival attendees of all ages.

Hayrides:

Hop aboard and enjoy a jaunt on an old-fashioned, horse-drawn hay wagon. The Missouri River and historic architecture of Main Street will set the scene as a Halloween History Guide provides an overview of the traditions and folklore of Halloween. You’ll never look at Main Street quite the same way again! [Hayrides are one-way only and seating is limited.]

Departure locations:

• 900 block of South Main

• 100 block of North Main

Straw poll:

You’ll think St. Charles has come down with a case of hay fever when you stroll through Scarecrow Glen in Kister Park in the 400 block of South Main.

Seek out the dozens of straw figures as you explore the park. Whether traditional or imaginative, whimsical or avant garde, the scarecrows in Scarecrow Glen all have come from the creative minds of merchants and organizations throughout St. Charles County.

Be sure to find the ballot box and vote for your favorite in the Straw poll.

In concert:

Join the Angry Villagers – a musical mob – on the steps of the Gazebo in Scarecrow Glen as they present a creepy chorale of spellbinding tunes for a toe tappin’, hand clappin’, good time.

Mourning exhibit:

Have you ever wondered why people wear black to funerals? Or why homes have “living” rooms? Find the answers to these questions and more at the “Morbid Curiosity: Mourning Traditions of the Victorian Age” exhibit at the historic Katy Depot in Frontier Park.

Discover over 70 authentic artifacts that illustrate how Victorians revolutionized the mourning process and turned grief into an art form. From fashion and social etiquette, to the commercialization of the mourning routine and depiction in popular culture, explore what customs can still be recognized today, and which fads have died out.

La Plaza del Dia de losMuertos:

¡Bienvenidos amigos! Explore the vibrant and colorful traditions of the Mexican Day of the Dead at La Plaza del Dia de los Muertos. Learn about the rich heritage and customs of the holiday from Ghostly Guest La Catrina, the spirit of Dia de los Muertos. Decorate a sugar skull mask and get a festive Day of the Dead makeover from a face painting specialist.

For more information on Legends & Lanterns, visit discoverstcharles.com/events/legends-and-lanterns/ or call (636) 946-7776.

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