SWEET SPRINGS (WVDN) – Oct. 29 was the third and final night where the old historic Thomas Jefferson designed hotel, the Sweet Springs Resort Park, was rebranded as The Sweet Springs Sanitarium and Hayride Spooktacular. Filled with fear, the event gets larger and new designs are added every year. Friday, Oct. 21, was Kids Night — there was very little scaring, but the children had a “scary” place to go without being scared. Many of the children were overjoyed, and most every parent was as happy about a kid’s night as organizers offered the opportunity to younger “friends of the Sweet.”
Saturday, Oct. 22, was a great night of scares, chills, screams and thrills as guests were scared by volunteer staff and the Monroe County JROTC from James Monroe High School. The JROTC decided to work with the Sweet Springs Resort Park this year instead of building their own haunted house. Ashby Berkley, project manager said, “This is what we want here at the park — the youth and the local folks pitching in together to create something of value to Monroe County and enjoy this wonderful public park for themselves.”
The park looks forward to more activities with Monroe County Educational programs and hopes other local counties from West Virginia and Virginia (especially Summers, Greenbrier, Mercer, Alleghany and more) will participate in various programs with the park.
“Watching people enjoy the hard work and effort that goes into creating our haunted sanitarium is well worth the hard work, the planning and the designing. Having all the young adults and youth work with us this year made it the best year ever,” said Silesia Quick, designer and director of the haunted adventure.
Also on site was NaNa’s Ice Cream and Foods, of Covington, Va., was on hand with chicken wings, hot dogs, corn dogs, homemade chicken fried rice, coffee, hot chocolate and other beverages. NaNa’s Ice Cream and Foods can be reached at email@example.com
An historic hayride is a finishing touch to the adventure. Designed for adults and children alike, the hayride provides a brief history of the park for adults and a fun ride for the children. To finish off the hayride for the children, there were treat bags for those too young to enjoy candy, and the older children received a treat bag with the “real stuff” in it.
The Sweet Springs Resort Park facility is one of the most historic landmarks in the United States having the warm water healing pool, the oldest jail/courthouse and frame built home west of the Alleghenies, and the Jefferson-designed hotel that opened in 1833. Even before this historic hotel was built, there were two other hotels on the property and between the three hotels, the facility was visited by eight of the first 10 presidents as well as many other historically famous people. To learn more about this historic landmark visit www.sweetspringsresortpark.org.
Upcoming 2023 events:
- Saturday, April 8, 2023: grounds open to all local churches, school groups, etc., for community Easter egg hunt. Have a picnic, hide eggs and play games — there is plenty of room for everyone.
- During the month of May bring a memorial placard, or sign for your remembered loved one and the resort will place it on the “walk of love” drive. Then, over the Memorial Day weekend, plan to have a picnic on the grounds where there will be a “Walk of Remembrance” for all loved ones represented.
- July 28-30, 2023: Annual Fling at the Springs two-day music festival. This year’s theme will be “Fling at the Hoedown” featuring live, bluegrass music. All bluegrass bands are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to perform. Rustic camping will be available.
- August 2023 (dates to be announced): the sixth annual Sustainability Forum. This is a great opportunity for everyone; the event is free to attend. Various subjects will be covered, and vendors will be present.
- Sept. 9, 2023: Second annual MIA/POW Honor and Veterans Appreciation Day motorcycle and antique car rally. There will be a poker run, motorcycle games, antique car judging, a cook off, games for children and adults and a presentation of honors. Rustic camping will be available. Vendors of all types needed and wanted; contact email@example.com.
- Oct. 20,21 and 28, 2023 – Sixth annual haunted house and hayride with more new screams, chills and thrills. Friday, Oct. 20, will be children’s night with very few scares, but Saturday, Oct. 21 is strictly an adult night — children can stay upstairs while adults go through the haunted house, then accompany parents on the hayride.
- Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023 – Last historical tour of the property for 2023. Tour takes approximately 1 1/2-2 hours. Group tours available year-round.
Check Sweet Springs Resort Park’s website and Facebook page for more information and event updates.