October 19, 2022 at 3:06 p.m.
Weekend event a fundraiser for Albany dance team
You won’t find Albany Pawettes dance team members performing in their dance costumes this weekend. They will be performing, but their costumes will depict characters in the Haunted House Maze and Corn Trail at The Sands of Time Farm, 1.5 miles north of Holdingford at 43366 County Road 9.
Albany Dance Team Booster Club members are hosting this first-time haunted house from 7-11 p.m., Friday, Oct. 21, and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 7-11 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 22, as a dance team fundraiser. The first weekend of the haunted house was the weekend before. The day session is for little ghouls and goblins, or “the young at heart,” said Mary Sand, organizer of the haunted house held in her and husband Scott’s machine shed.
“The afternoon session is tamed down quite a bit so the younger kids can go through it, and we have games and tattoos for them,” Sand said.
Sand, who on Oct. 14 said she has been in “Halloween brain” mode for weeks, said this is the third year a haunted house has been held at their farm.
“Two years ago we did a little haunted house trail through our pasture for family and friends. Last year, we did a bigger one that took up the whole barn, also for friends and family,” she said.
As a newly appointed vice president of the booster club, Sand suggested holding a haunted house as a fundraiser to kick off the season for the dance team, which her daughter, Sonja Theiler, is a member of.
On what Sand called working weekends, dance team and booster club members completed aspects of the haunted house, which included building walls, sectioning off areas of the 90x40-foot machine shed into theme decorated rooms. Thanks to generous donors they were able to complete the haunted house. Many of the haunted house props and decor are borrowed from Sand’s good friend, Patti Broady, who loves Halloween.
“She graciously allowed us to use it,” Sand said.
She estimates it will take guests 20-30 minutes with the lights on and longer in the dark to zigzag their way through the haunted house built in maze fashion, where they will be greeted – and surprised – by around 16 characters.
“There is a nice variety. We have clowns, witches, scarecrows and creepy dolls running around,” Sand said.
The unique thing, for Sand, about this haunted house is it is one of the few in central Minnesota. The Albany Area Student Council is also holding a haunted house from 7-9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 28, at Albany High School, 30 Forest Ave. in Albany, with proceeds donated typically to a local family in need. Community Connection of Sauk Centre is sponsoring their 42nd Monster Manor from 7-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21, 22, 28 and 29, at the Stearns County Fairgrounds, 1105 Ash St. S. in Sauk Centre.
While Sand enjoys the whole idea of the haunted house, seeing everyone come together to work on this project has been a plus.
“Standing outside the shed, I could hear the dance team members laughing and giggling and having so much fun,” Sand said. “It’s been great for team bonding and getting to know their teammates.”
Along with the haunted house, there will be food, refreshments and even pumpkins to purchase that were raised at the Sand farm. All money raised, including the suggested entrance free, although free-will offerings will be accepted, will go toward the dance team.
Sand is already thinking ahead to next year’s haunted house.
“I’m pretty sure my husband thinks I’m completely nuts,” she said.
But until then, she will dress as her chosen haunted house character and run around making sure everything is running smoothly this weekend.
Afterall, Sand is on a haunted house high.