SOUTHINGTON — The Southington Drive-In will once again be open for family-friendly spooks, thrills and fun this Halloween season.
On Saturday, Oct. 26, the drive-in will host its annual Halloween Festival — an event that will include a haunted hay ride, petting zoo, face-painting, pony rides and more.
The festivities at the drive-in, located on Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, will start at 2 p.m.
A trunk or treat is scheduled for 5 p.m. That is when volunteer staff members will hand out candy to attendees in costume.
The first movie, Disney’s “Coco” will be shown a little after 6 p.m. That movie will be followed by a showing of the 1976 horror movie classic “Carrie.”
The event was planned by the four-person Southington Drive-In Committee, explained committee leader Dawn Miceli.
“Come for a festival. Stay for a movie,” she said.
Those who attend are invited to wear costumes. In the past, families have also decorated their vehicles quite elaborately.
“There have been some elaborate scenes in the beds of people’s trucks and in the backs of their SUVs,” Miceli said. “It really can be unbelievable what people do with cobwebs and smoke machines.”
For families from town, the cost of admission is $20 per carload. For non-residents, the cost is $25 per car. The cost for people walking in is $5 per person.
Dave Zoni, a member of the committee, described the festival as a great inexpensive activity for families.
“It’s a good family event,” he said, adding he stays involved because he enjoys keeping the concept of a drive-in movie theater alive in Southington.
“It’s a unique experience,” Zoni said. “There are not a lot of drive ins left. It’s something I have a personal connection too. My parents used to take me when I was a child.”
Hundreds are expected to attend the festival, which requires a large number of volunteers to pull off. Miceli said she expects more than 75 volunteers, all of them from civic clubs and non-profit organizations that will benefit from the proceeds raised by the event.
“All the money does go back to charity, to those organizations,” Miceli said. “It’s just a feel good day, something to do before the winter comes.”