ValleySCARE: Halloween fun after “nightmare” pandemic

Kaitlin McCoskey – Staff Writer

What do you get when you mix a haunted theme park, elaborate costumes, spooky attractions, roller coasters, and Gusties?.. A recipe for fun!
For the first time since COVID-19 hit, Gustavus students had the opportunity to attend an off-campus CAB event on Saturday, October 30.
“For the first time since COVID-19 hit, Gustavus students had the opportunity to attend an off-campus CAB event on Saturday, October 30.”

Sixty Gustavus students commuted to Valley Fair, either in their own vehicles or on a bus provided by CAB, for a night of spooky fun at an impressive discount.
Sophomore Emma Ericson who serves in CAB on the Arts and Entertainment board was in charge of planning this event with support from her advisor and co-presidents as needed. According to Ericson this event, like many other CAB events, took a month and a half to plan. “I like seeing the whole process, from coming up with an idea, to the funding, to seeing the final product. I like [being on CAB] and find it rewarding,” Ericson said.
As part of this event, Gustavus students were able to purchase ValleySCARE tickets for $10. In addition, a bus was available for students to take to and from school for just $5. A trip to ValleySCARE usually costs over $60, so this discount for students was a great deal. “My advisor emailed me and said ‘Hey, I have this deal, would you like to plan the event?’ and I was like ‘Yeah, I want to plan that!’” Ericson said.
It was especially rewarding to plan this particular event for Ericson because it was the first off-campus CAB event since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

“Last year we could only do virtual events and giveaways,” Ericson said, “It’s been a nice change of pace, working on new events, it’s been freeing.”
Claire Lind, a Sophomore at Gustavus and CAB executive board member, also attended ValleySCARE. “ValleySCARE was not an event I was required to go to, but a lot of us on the executive board like to go to other events to just help out, and because they’re fun,” Lind said.
Lind also agreed that getting to watch the planning for the ValleySCARE trip and attending the first event off campus since the pandemic was a meaningful experience. “I think there’s something really special about getting to travel with a group of students your age,’’ Lind said, adding that “being in a place surrounded by people who aren’t from Gustavus makes you feel more united with the people who are from Gustavus.”
Senior Chris Ortiz took advantage of this deal from CAB as well. When asked about how he heard of this event, he said “I’m the co-president for OLAS, which is an organization for Latin American students, and after meetings we have announcements about school events. I saw one was that you can go to ValleySCARE for ten bucks, and I was like ‘What? Is that true?!”
Ortiz also added that this event was a really nice offer to have for students. “I did appreciate that this was available. I’ve been here for 4 years and I’ve never gotten to go to ValleySCARE. I haven’t really gotten to go on rollercoasters or to amusement parks since before college. It was fun just to do it again and have it be affordable. It was ten bucks, that’s like the price of a burrito at Chipotle!” Ortiz said.
Lind and Ortiz also shared their favorite memories from ValleySCARE. “I went in a haunted house… I was running through there, I was like ‘Get me out of here, I’m so scared!’” Lind said. “They did a really great job, it was very realistic, so props to them for all of that prep work. It was like a mansion, and you just went from room to room, and there were actors dressed up… I didn’t stay in there for very long!”
Ortiz shared one of his favorite memories too, saying “I went to a haunted house that was like a graveyard. You just walked through, and there were people scaring you. I thought it was pretty cool, I liked the aesthetic of it.I liked that part best, because it had the most to do with Halloween. The rides were really fun, but you can get that anytime. I was there to get a little bit spooked!” Ortiz said.

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