Field of Screams a haunting success

O’Keefe Ranch fundraiser reaches record numbers

Field of Screams was an October spooktacular success.

The annual fundraising event at O’Keefe Ranch offers two haunted corn mazes for people to explore. This year’s theme was Dante’s Inferno: The Descent, and it far surpassed the ranch’s expectations of attendance and popularity.

“We watched streams of cars enter the ranch night after night,” said O’Keefe Ranch marketing and events coordinator Kelly MacIntosh. “The whole thing was surreal. The lineups of people reached the parking lot on more than one occasion. Months of planning, building, rehearsals, promotion, it was all paying off and then some.”

Record numbers of patrons braved the mazes, which raised more money than ever for the Historic O’Keefe Ranch.

“No one can predict the outcome of these kinds of events and then for it to be such a success, it was a relief and kind of emotional to be honest, but that may have been from lack of sleep,” said MacIntosh. “We are all just so thrilled and motivated by the support and for the future of the ranch”.

There has been a steady increase in attendance in recent years at the ranch during the regular season as well as at the haunted corn maze event.

There were more than 18,000 Field of Screams tickets sold in 2017, and an increase of approximately 68 per cent in revenues compared to 2016, with a net income of nearly $120,000.

Consider the 5,000 volunteer hours contributed, and the enormous in-kind sponsorship provided by NorVal Rentals, Elephant Storage Centre, Tolko Industries, and from the corporate pumpkin sponsors, the long hours put in by the ranch staff, it goes to show that the community supports the ranch and sees the importance of keeping the historic site alive and well.

“On behalf of the O’Keefe Ranch, I would like to thank everyone involved in making this event such a success,” said Max Russmann, president of the O’Keefe Ranch and Interior Heritage Society. “Everyone from costume designers to event sponsors. The outcome of this event shows how much the ranch is valued in our community and we would like to see this momentum continue for future generations.”

The O’Keefe Ranch and is now closed for the regular season and re-opens in May 2018, with the exception of Victorian Christmas, Dec. 9-10, 2017.

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