Festival of Frights creeps to Newbury Town Centre for a long Halloween Weekend

Fest of Frights1

We’re joining Parkway Shopping to bring three spook-tacular FREE events to Newbury this Halloween!

From Wednesday 26th to Saturday 29th October, local residents and visitors from across the region are invited to take to the pyscho paths of Newbury for a four-day ‘Festival of Frights’ event, brimming the cauldron pot with Halloween-themed activities across the town centre.

Following the success of multiple family-focused initiatives in Newbury, including last year’s Halloween event which saw a life-sized Dragon and Wizard visit town, we will be collaborating with Parkway Shopping once again to deliver a fiendishly brilliant Halloween for our historic town.

Three key free events will be taking place across the October half-term week falling under the umbrella term ‘Festival of Frights’, including a town centre-wide Ghost Town Family Trail, Frightful Fun Days for families at Parkway Shopping, and an adults-only Psycho Path Pub Crawl – the first of its kind for Newbury.  

The aim of the festival is to provide free activities and entertainment for families and adults alike while also encouraging visitors to support local businesses.

Many independent businesses have signed-up to the events, including Bernie’s Barbershop and Store in The Arcade in Newbury’s Southern Quarter, Isabel’s Retro at Parkway Shopping, and department store Camp Hopson, to name but a few on the Ghost Town Family Trail, alongside local pubs such as The Catherine Wheel, The Dolphin and The Newbury participating in the fun for the adults-only Psycho Path Pub Crawl.

Families attending the Ghost Town Family Trail are invited to take part from 11am to 4pm on Wednesday 26th – Saturday 29th October. Moving from one haunted venue to another, participants must collect the hidden letters at each venue to reveal a secret word in order to enter the Halloween competition boasting spook-tacular prizes*. Plus, there will be freakishly good Halloween-themed arts and crafts activities taking place at the Corn Exchange, on Northbrook Street from The Watermill Theatre, and at Parkway Shopping. For more information and details of how to enter the competition, please click here.

Any over 18s brave enough to join the free and immersive Psycho Path Pub Crawl, can do so from Friday 28th – Saturday 29th October. Visitors are being asked to dig out their scariest fancy dress costumes and to check-in to each venue on the crawl by scanning the QR code to receive a free shot, courtesy of us!  More details, including participating venues and their horror-inspired makeovers, can be found here

Details of Parkway Shopping’s family-friendly Frightful Fun Days will be announced soon, with information available on our website here soon.

Warwick Heskins, Newbury BID Chair and owner of The Catherine Wheel pub on the Psycho Path Pub Crawl, has expressed his excitement at the event:

“The hospitality sector is suffering tremendously from all the knock backs we’ve encountered going as far back as 2020 - the start of the pandemic. Experiencing everything from problems with supplies, staffing issues due to the rapidly changing working environment, and now a cost-of-living/energy crisis, we need all the support we can get right now to keep our businesses afloat and ensure that an evening economy exists in Newbury.

I'm pleased that Newbury BID has been able to put on its first-ever adults-only and free evening Halloween event for the town. We’re hopeful that this will have a direct benefit on our businesses as we showcase the fabulous venues on offer to encourage visitors on the Pub Crawl to enjoy their evenings locally with us, for Halloween and beyond.”

Bernie England, owner of Bernie’s Barbershop and Store participating in the Ghost Town Family Trail, explained the events are a positive opportunity for the town:

“I’m looking forward to taking part in Newbury’s Halloween offering this year. Being tucked away in The Arcade, so many wonderful independent businesses, such as DUO Hair and Design, Shoemaker Books and Coffee Shop, and even Inn at Home and B the Lifestyle Store on the adjacent street, can be forgotten about.

By including The Arcade - set within Newbury’s Southern Quarter consisting of Bartholomew Street, The Arcade, and Inches Yard - as one of the locations on the trail, I hope visitors will explore this side of town more often, visit us again in-store, or tell their friends about our unique and independently-owned ‘Bernie’s’, as a result.”

Alison Drummond, our Operations Manager, added:

“We saw huge engagement from the public with our collaborative Halloween event last year and received lots of positive feedback.

We’re confident that this year’s Halloween offering will be a big hit, as we continue to deliver free and family-friendly options, with the introduction of a new adults-only option this year, enabling us to cater to a wider audience and support even more local businesses! We sincerely hope that the activities we’re putting on will pay off for the businesses that occupy the respective areas.”

*Prizes TBC, please keep an eye on our webpage for more details.

For a list of all events taking place in Newbury town centre and beyond, click here.

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