It's not every day that a Halloween event gets canceled on account of snow.

But that was the fate of last year's Halloween in the Park, as the arrival of a sudden snow storm in October led to the cancellation of the second day's activities.

But the fun is back on this year, as the Friends of Codorus State Park put the finishing touches on the family-friendly fundraising event for the park - snow not included.

Halloween in the Park will take place on Friday,

Oct. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 27 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The main entrance for the event is the park's swimming pool entrance off of Route 216, Blooming Grove Road, in Hanover.

For kids, the highlight of the event is usually the trick-or-treating from 6 p.m. to

9 p.m. Candy will be given out along two loops of rented campsites that will be decorated for Halloween.

"Kids end up with about a shopping bag of candy, chips, pretzels and things people have donated," said Becky Miller, President of the Friends of Codorus State Park. "It's very nice and safe - no vehicles come though."

Another favorite is the 1.5-mile hayrides through the park, Miller said. Members of the community, businesses and groups build their own scenery at about 30 different sites along the hayride.

This year, there will also be a nature tent, demonstrations from a chain saw artist and a blacksmith and several vendors, Miller said.

"It's a safe environment for kids - no blood, guts and gore. We don't want to scare them," she added.


The admission cost is $10 per car, but all of the events and activities are free, with the exception of food and souvenirs purchased.

All of the money raised by the non-profit Friends group goes back into the park through donations of materials or creation of new programs in the park for the community.

Halloween in the Park began six years ago, when Miller was asked to come up a community event at the campground.

"For a Halloween town, this is what I came up with," she said on Halloween in the Park. "And it's gotten bigger and bigger."

The turnout in 2010 totaled about 7,000 people over the course of the two days, she added.

And a supplement to Halloween in the Park - the annual Pet Parade - is also growing. The parade is a chance for pets to show off their costumes at the park, just like the kids. It will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, starting at the swimming pool pavilion, and is open for anyone to participate without cost or registration. As pets parade the campground, donations are given to the favorite costumes and the proceeds benefit Animal Rescue, Inc. Prizes are also awarded.

As families enjoy the festive and wildly decorative celebration of Halloween, it's also a chance to expose new people to Codorus State Park - a treat in our own backyards, Miller said.

"I think people should stop out, if for no other reason, to be exposed to Codorus State Park and see how beautiful it is," she said. "I would like the community to make better use of the park, and if we offer something like this, that exposes it to them and they'll come back."