Planning for Scare-O-Kee is well underway

By Robert Jumper

One Feather Editor

CHEROKEE, N.C. – The Scare-O-Kee Planning Committee, chaired by Molly Grant, met again on Wednesday, August 30 to continue preparations. Several entities participated in the meeting including the Cherokee Indian Police Department, EBCI Emergency Services (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), EBCI Facilities Management, EBCI Communications, EBCI Destination Marketing, and the Cherokee Department of Water and Sanitation.

This year’s Scare-O-Kee event is scheduled for October 31 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm (SCOTT MCKIE BP/One Feather Photo)

Grant wrote down the agenda for the meeting, which was divided into specific areas of the event. At the previous meeting, the committee had concluded that the location of the event would be the same as last year, with Scare-O-Kee to be held at Tsali Blvd, Oconaluftee Island Park, and the site of the old Cherokee Elementary School. There have been some discussions about using Unity Field as a haunted house if they need the space.

Time and date for Scare-O-Kee is October 31 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm

Josh Turner, a member of the EBCI Emergency Management Team, will be the deejay for the event. The Cherokee Indian Police Department will supply hot dogs, chips and drinks to workers and volunteers, and the Cherokee Fire Department will take care of the barbecue. There will be food booths available for event goers.

The EBCI Communications Department will have photo booths for those who want to capture their Scare-O-Kee costume for posterity. They will also prepare and distribute an event flyer.

As was the case at last year’s event, there will be space for individually or group-built haunted houses and candy booths. Funds from the Chief’s Head Office are allocated to build/decorate haunted houses ($750 per team/house) and candy booths ($250 per booth).

Safety is a major consideration for this event, and the committee is taking extra precautions this year to ensure better traffic flow within the event. This year, there will be one entrance to Scare-O-Kee. Just below the intersection of Tsali Blvd and US Hwy 19 will be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The entrance to the event will be at the other end, near the Cherokee Welcome Center and Tribal Council building.

There will be additional “tower lighting” throughout the event space, and candy booths will be organized to make it easier to move from one to the next. EBCI Emergency Management message boards will be used to communicate event information and trends. According to Cherokee Water and Sanitation Department leadership, Acquoni Road will be clear of most construction with lanes open to accommodate changed vehicle flow as a result of the closure of the portion of Acquoni Road required for the event.

Categories of winners were discussed in building the haunted house and candy booth. The committee plans to issue food prizes and souvenirs to these winners. This and other decisions will be addressed at their next meeting, where they plan to visit the event site to get a better perspective on the layout of the Scare-O-Kee.

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