Freddy Fright Fest ramps up in its second year

Freddy Fright Fest sign for the Haunted tour event, located at The New Brunswick Provincial Exhibition. (Daniel Salas/AQ)

The second year of Freddy Fright Fest will be a two-week event that centres on community and bringing people together during the Halloween season.

Multiple organizations from across Fredericton and the surrounding area are collaborating to fundraise for community organizations such as the Fredericton Hospice and the Charlotte Street Arts Centre (CSAC).

The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of New Brunswick and the Paramedic’s Association of New Brunswick hope to present a spooky festival filled with events for all ages.

Courtney Steeves, director of the CSAC, explained originally there were a few smaller Halloween events that took place in the city that joined together to become Freddy Fright Fest.

“It started out as a fundraiser for the Charlotte Street Arts Centre and a few others were doing haunted houses, like the Paramedics Association. We realized … why don’t we join forces?” said Steeves.

Freddy Fright Fest has also partnered with the Zombie Run this year, which is a fundraiser for Sexual Violence New Brunswick.

“Us focusing and centralizing these events so that people can go to one spot to gather pieces of information and do a whole bunch of good is amazing,” said Steeves.

This festival takes place at the Capital Exhibition Centre. Featured events included the Country Night concert, a Halloween rave party, a pumpkin carving contest and its famous Haunted Tour that explores themed stations through a haunted house.

“We’re just really trying to ramp it up as a whole this year,” said Steeves, who is excited about the growth of the event compared to last year.

She explained there are events for all ages, including younger children. The main Haunted Tour is a “high-scare” event, which may not be suitable for kids, but the festival does advertise a “low-scare” event at Science East for those with a smaller tolerance for horror.

With COVID-19 still being a concern during these events, Steeves believes that Freddy Fright Fest took the best precautions.

When buying tickets, it is noted that they are sold in 15- minute increments to keep crowds to a manageable level. There is a special feature offered for walk-ins who don’t feel comfortable waiting in a large line, where you can give your phone number and they will text you when it is your turn.

Steeves said she has gratitude for the engineers, geoscientists, volunteers and workers of Fredericton involved.

“It is just a really incredible amount of effort, energy and time. They spent months planning it and they spent a whole month just building [the haunted tour portion]” she said.