GRAY – During the first phase of the new moon – with The Milky Way standing out as it stretches across the evening sky – the Maine Wildlife Park will hold its fourth annual Halloween-fest Night Visit Friday, Oct. 24.

The park at 56 Game Farm Road, off Route 26, will be open to the public from 6 to 9 p.m. so visitors can view its wildlife at night.

There will be Halloween decorations and lighted jack-‘o-lanterns throughout the park, a haunted tree trail, spooky stories for children, a costume contest, face-painting, three Halloween game stations, a Great Pumpkin hunt and more.

Adults and kids are urged to dress in costumes to get into the spirit of Halloween.

Ancient Celtic customs of Halloween called for wearing costumes to confuse the spirits and ghouls walking amongst us, carrying gourd/pumpkin lamps to light paths through the leafy darkness, and trading protections from mischief for candy and treats. The date of Halloween was set by the Celts to note the midpoint between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice.

Bring flashlights; some may be available to purchase at the gate. Park personnel will provide red cellophane to cover flashlight beams, which will help improve visitors’ night vision. Volunteer guides will be stationed at exhibits to talk a bit about the animals’ nightlife. Kids can have their pictures taken with furry mascots Moxie Moose and Kennebago Bear.

Rain date for the event will be Saturday, Oct. 25, same time. Call the park’s automated line @ 657-4977 for up-to-date information on the day of the hike.

Admission to the park is free for ages 3 and under; $4 for ages 5-12; $6 for adults and $4.50 for seniors. Groups of 15 or more are charged $3 per person.

The Maine Wildlife Park has more than 30 species of native wildlife on display, plus wildlife gardens, nature trails and other interactive exhibits and displays. The park is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Nov. 11.

For more information, call 657-4977 or visit www.mainewildlifepark.com or www.mefishwildlife.com.


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