The 2022 Witches on the Water group photo. Courtesy of Witches on the Water on Facebook.GRAFTON - This weekend, witches and warlocks are invited to Grafton for a night of contests, vendors, food specials and boozy potions.

The sixth annual “Witches on the Water” event is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023. From 5 p.m. to the witching hour, people can meet at Mason Hollow Park in Grafton to check out vendors and transportation will be provided throughout the night to Grafton’s bars, restaurants and shops for Halloween-themed specials.

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“Basically, [it’s] witches and warlocks putting on their best costumes and coming down to Grafton and having a great time,” explained Jessica Hayes, one of the four volunteer organizers. “It is all throughout the town. All of the businesses participate with us. All of them have contests or food specials, drink specials, entertainment of some sort, their own contests, drawings, prizes. So really, it’s about us all coming together as a community and putting on a great event for everyone to enjoy.”

This adult-only event charges $13 for a wristband, which will allow you to take part in the special Witches on the Water promotions, contests and specials offered by Grafton businesses. You can purchase your wristband online for $13 until Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023, or in person on Saturday for $15.

Hayes said they greeted over 2,000 attendees last year and have already sold nearly 1,000 wristbands in advance this year. Over 7,000 people have shown interest on the event’s official Facebook page.

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Witches on the Water partners with the Grafton Chamber of Commerce. Hayes and her fellow organizers encourage people to check out the 30-plus witchy vendors “with all kinds of spooktacular merchandise for sale,” as well as the small businesses throughout town.

“We try to keep that cost low so people can also go and enjoy their time and maybe spend some time with some vendors or spend a little bit of money on the people who have their own business or hobby, or maybe go downtown and enjoy food, a cocktail or maybe some shopping,” Hayes explained.

Mason Hollow Park, located at 1304 W. Main Street, is “where all the magic starts.” Fall treats, a coffee truck, a bonfire and tarot readers will put attendees in the witchy autumn mood. Costumes are encouraged, and you can compete to be the best-dressed witch or warlock. The Witches on the Water organizers invite attendees to gather at the Grafton Lighthouse at 6 p.m. on Saturday for a group photo.

While the event is “in the spirit of Halloween” and promises plenty of fun, it “truly is a fundraiser event,” Hayes said. All proceeds go to the National Memorial of Military Ascent, a nonprofit that plans to build a veterans memorial and museum in Grafton. Last year, Witches on the Water raised $5,000 toward the project.

“One of the important things that we wanted to introduce is yes, this is great not only for our town and our community, bringing people in for the businesses, but we also wanted to do something a little bit more,” Hayes said. “It’s something that we’re really passionate about because we’re feeling like we’re giving back to our veterans…I’m pretty sure this year we’re going to be able to write over a $10,000 check.”

Witches on the Water is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, in Mason Hollow Park. To learn more about the event, including how to purchase your wristband, visit the official Witches on the Water Facebook page.

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