The Haunting

By Leigh Daniel

Oct 19, 2019

A Halloween costume party, our first official event at Leigh Acres!

This October marks the first Halloween event at Leigh Acres.  I know there will be many more parties for Halloween and every occasion since the  lodge is available to rent.  Yet, this one will be the one I remember.  I was out of the country until the night before the party at the funeral for the mum of a friend and had to rely on my team to put together the party.  They did a great job!  It wasn’t until the evening came that we realized there were no exterior lights.  It was pitch black!  No sign, which would have been in the dark anyway, and no lights.  


How would anyone find us? 

I’m pretty sure some ghouls and witches didn’t have the spooky skills to find us out in New Market, Alabama.  

Dark. 

Perfect for Halloween.  I could hear the shouts and giggles as people made their way across the parking area (i.e., field) to where we were.  Running an event venue is new to me, and admittedly, I have a lot to learn.  I’m going to let you behind the scream (I mean screen) and tell you my most important lessons:

  1. People will congregate in the kitchen.  No matter how much room there is in the house.  The kitchen is where it’s at.  At one time, the kitchen and food area looked like a freakshow mosh pit.  There were so many people crowded together.  It made for good mingling, but what do they say about too many cooks in the kitchen? 
  2. Don’t use a fog machine in a small area!  Come to think of it, this may be why everyone was in the kitchen!  You couldn’t see anything on the dance floor as it was heavy with fog. 
  3. Choose music people want to dance to instead of what may be fitting with the theme.  Monster Mash didn’t seem to be a big hit.  We had a DJ, a light show, the fog machine, and amazing sound equipment, but we had to ditch our playlist for more danceable tunes. 
  4. Simplify and have food that’s already prepared or is easy to serve.  My assistant, Jennifer Taylor, catered the event, and she was incredible.  But the time and the hordes of people in the kitchen got in the way, and she wasn’t able to put some of the fancy fixin’s out.  
  5. Have an agenda in mind for the party.  We were going to give out costumes and take pictures of the event, but we managed to forget most of the photos and also the costume contest!  In the midst of entertaining, my plans went out the window.  As the host, I should’ve been more aware of the time. 
  6. Have signs!  Ours wouldn’t have been visible, but we needed signs that said, “Leigh Acres” so people could find us in New Market.  This sounds pretty basic, but our biggest fail — check the lights and make sure people can find you!  We saw people drive by and turn around and drive by and turn around and on and on!  
  7. Don’t forget to thank your team.  I have such an amazing team at Leigh Acres, and they made sure it was the best possible party we could have for our first event.  It takes a lot of people to pull off an event like ours, and once the venue is used for other events besides my own, I am confident in the ability of my team to help create a beautiful and memorable event. 

Our next event is coming up on November 16th, weather permitting, and we are still dealing with the Utility company to get lights.  Thankfully, our Fall Fest will be during the day.  We’ve got new vendors contacting us every single day, and while I don’t know what to expect, I’m sure it’s going to be great!

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