by Lorie Lewis Ham
Every year around this time we have the pleasure of writing something about Hobb’s Grove in Sanger–one of the top Haunts in the country and a very popular place to go during the Halloween season! This year we chatted with their new marketing consultant Geanie Silva about what to expect this Halloween season.
KRL: What all can people expect at Hobb’s Grove this year?
Geanie: Be prepared for Fun and Fright! Hobb’s Grove is Central California’s most awesome Haunted Attraction and is ranked among the Nation’s top “must see” Haunts by Haunted Attraction Magazine.
Three different attractions are there to enjoy plus a midway of fun. Food vendors are set to please and The Curiosity Shop is open with an eclectic grouping of dark and spooky items gathered from artisans far and wide.
KRL: Is there anything new this year?
Geanie: The crew spends months planning new ways to share fear and frivolity with those who enter the Haunted Forest, Haunted House and take a ride on the Haunted Hayride. The attractions just keep getting better year after year.
KRL: Can you give us a brief overview of the attractions for those who haven’t been there before?
Geanie: Before you even get in line to any of the haunted attractions, the feel of Hobb’s Grove is exciting! The midway invites you in with various “characters” that mill about and entertain people. There are warming fires burning on chilly evenings. You’ll find groups of friends enjoying something to eat from the food vendors, talking about how fun going into a haunt will be or just coming out of it and sharing their stories of being scared or laughing ‘til they cry.
Each haunt attraction has a separate line to enter and there are “scaracters” along the way. The haunts are set up so you feel that you are entering the unknown as soon as you are in line. Cobwebs, old metal furnishings, odd lighting, sounds and smells greet each person.
The Haunted Forest is filled with things that you hear, smell and just might feel. Be sure to stay close to your mates while walking the twisting and curving pathways. You never know who or what might be next to you.
The Haunted House has a creepy feel to it before you even enter. Heavy with old cobwebs, rusted furnishing, broken children’s toys, you wonder what is waiting for you when you enter the house! Each year the House of Hobb changes with the musings of those who reside within. 3D floors and walls, things that spin in the dark and of course, the ghosts of those who lived there before are waiting for you.
On the Hayride into Shadow’s Keep, you and friends ride in a trailer bed filled with hay through the outskirts of the property. Seems harmless enough, right? But just as you get comfortable and think it’s no big deal, you may feel a hand on your shoulder that shouldn’t be there! Creatures blend into the night and join you when you least expect it. The Hayride is also good for those who may feel the need to bury their face in their lap when frightened!
KRL: Will there be music and/or any other kind of entertainment in the Midway this year?
Geanie: Each year the Graveyard Dance Crew from Coarsegold brings a very cool and creepy show for all to enjoy Oct. 18, 19, 25 & 26. On Oct. 11th we welcome The Next Elvira, April Wahlin, Winner of Elvira’s Fox TV reality show, “Choosing The Next Elvira”. You’ll want to get your pic taken with her for sure! We also have a couple of live Bluegrass nights plus local radio stations that set up and broadcast their music on the midway. Those nights will be announced soon. Our Costume Party Halloween Night is not to be missed and we are really excited to have the Fresno band, Pamela Henri and the Big Boss Band playing on our closing night, Saturday, November 2, 2013.
KRL: Will there be any different food in the Midway this year? What all will be available?
Geanie: We have great food vendors each year that keeps everyone happy with a carnival style menu. There is soda and hot chocolate to Frito Boats, hot dogs, corn on the cob, caramel apples and pumpkin pie plus so much more. There is something there for everyone.
KRL: Can you tell us about Billy Bob’s Pumpkin Grove for children and when it will be open this year?
Geanie: Pumpkin Grove is happy, non-scary place for children to enjoy the fall weather and learn how pumpkins and corn grow along with other fun activities. Free entry includes a pumpkin patch that children can walk through plus a Corn Kernel Pit and Straw Bale Maze. There’s music playing, a store to visit and fun characters to interact with in the shady grass midway area.
Billy Bob’s Pumpkin Grove will be open to the public on two weekends, October 19-20 and October 26-27, from 11am to 5pm. There will be activities, music, photo opportunities and food available. It is free to visit and tickets for the tractor pulled hayride and fun filled forest with the child size corn maze are reasonably priced at $4 each or $7 for both. That makes it very affordable to bring the family out for an afternoon of fun.
Billy Bob’s Pumpkin Grove is now booking weekday school tours that begin October 15. This is for public and private schools along with childcare centers and home school groups. Families can join the tours too. For pricing and to book a tour, call 559-356-3962 or visit the website at www.pumpkingrove.com.
KRL: Will you be having any ticket specials?
Geanie: Check our Facebook page for special pricing deals for Billy Bob’s Pumpkin Grove. Hobb’s Grove Haunt tickets are traditionally less on opening weekend and Thursdays and Sundays. Those prices will be listed on Facebook and www.hobbsgrove.com soon.
KRL: When will Hobb’s Grove be opening this year?
Geanie: Hobb’s Grove opens on Friday, October 4. It will be open Thursday through Sunday until the week of Halloween. That week, it will be open Wednesday through Saturday November 2.
KRL: Will all of the regular Midway characters be back this year?
Geanie: We hear that Billy Bob’s cousins will be moving in with him soon! So we are looking forward to meeting these new, crazy characters. Favorites like Ralf the Rat Wolf and others will be back.
KRL: What is the closing night party? Who will be providing the live music?
Geanie: On November 2, the final night for the haunt attractions will be open a couple of days past Halloween and it will be a party! That night will give people one last chance to get dressed up and come out to be scared and entertained for the season. Food vendors will be open on the midway and beer and wine is available for purchase for those 21 and over with I.D.
In addition to Halloween night, costumes are encouraged. All are welcome to dress up and join us. Music is provided by Fresno band, Pamela Henri and the Big Boss Band. They play everything from today’s hits to classic rock and can really entertain the crowd.
KRL: Anything you would like to add?
Geanie: Hobb’s Grove is one of the most unique Halloween attractions anywhere! Comments and email are received every year about how much more fun a trip to Hobb’s Grove is than going to the big city amusement parks. Hobb’s Grove is filled with visitors, friends and family of ALL ages, enjoying the night outside in the dark, screaming and laughing together. Kids, parents and grandparents come to The Grove together all the time. It’s an experience available here locally that isn’t something others can find most anywhere else. If you haven’t been out yet, give it a go!
Check out this past article on Hobb’s Grove’s history!
Check out more local entertainment articles in our Arts & Entertainment section.