A harvest of downtown entertainment

Published 12:23 am Friday, September 16, 2011

The owners of a downtown-Washington business are cobbling together a Harvest Festival for their community.

Gary Ceres and Richard Snow, co-owners of Main Street’s I Can’t Believe It’s a Book Store, are seeking helpers to make the festival a reality.

Slated for Oct. 29, the festival is set to begin with a parade at 11 a.m.

The parade will trace the usual Christmas parade route down Main, Market and Second streets and up Gladden Street.

Ceres said he’s reaching out to churches, businesses and individuals to get involved in the parade and the festival that follows.

“It’s literally open to just about everyone,” he said.

Participants are asked to enter basically anything mobile in the parade, from floats and tractors to banner-carrying actors.

“I’m trying to get the word out to make sure that anybody in the community that’s interested in participating get involved,” Ceres said.

All parade-makers must do is fill out an entry form at the bookstore.

There is no entry fee, but prospective marchers should call the bookstore at 252-946-0855.

In addition to the parade, autumnal goings-on will enliven Main Street for most of the day on Oct. 29.

Ceres aims to hold two costume contests – one for children ages 1 through 12 and one for pets – following the parade.

There could also be sidewalk sales at downtown businesses, face painting for youngsters, a trunk-or-treat affair with children’s parents driving them to various trick-or-treat locations and an added number of “ghost-walk” tours sponsored by the bookstore.

Ceres cautioned he needs volunteers to help pull all of this off.

Among the volunteers whose services he’s secured are members of the Deplorable Folly Players, an informal theater troupe based in Washington.

The players are taking part in the parade and hosting carnival games during the festival. Later that evening, the players will present “Terror at the Turnage” from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. at the Turnage Theater, 150 W. Main St.

“Terror” will feature two classic horror films: “House on Haunted Hill,” starring Vincent Price, and the original “Night of the Living Dead,” directed by George Romero.

The movies will be preceded by live entertainment with local actors staging tricks and handing out treats in the lobby and onstage, said Crystal Holman, director of “Terror.”

Tickets will be $5 each and will be available at the door. An adult should accompany anyone under 15, the Turnage staff advises. For more information, call the Turnage box office at 252-975-1191 or visit www.turnagetheater.com.

An intermission following the first film will be highlighted by a costume contest with prizes awarded for scariest, funniest and best overall costume, Holman said.

The best-overall prize brings a gift certificate of $50 from Wicked Superstores of Greenville, she said. The other prizes have yet to be determined.

“The players look forward to seeing the creativity Washington has to offer for the costume contest,” Holman said.

Jonathan Clayborne is a member of the Deplorable Folly Players.