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The Headless Horseman Rides Again At Conner Prairie Fall Festival

Photography Provided by Conner Prairie

It takes a lot more than a pandemic to keep the Headless Horseman down.

He rides again this year at Conner Prairie in Fishers, just in time to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving.

This Halloween season, however, the Headless Horseman will have to follow the social distancing guidelines in place at Conner Prairie’s annual fall festival.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Conner Prairie has made several changes to Headless Horseman operations in order to ensure public safety while still delivering a fun family event,” says Christine DeJoy, director of public affairs at Conner Prairie. “These changes have been made in accordance with CDC guidelines, and have been approved by the Fishers Department of Health.” 

The Conner Prairie staff has multiple activities planned. 

“Guests will receive a complimentary bag of a ball and a ring necessary to play games,” DeJoy says. “Bounce houses, the corn sandbox, karaoke, and other games and activities not conducive to social distancing have been replaced with more suitable activities.” 

The Apple Store at Conner Prairie is currently closed, but apple cider slushies will be available in select food tents.

“Access to the corn maze and haunted corn maze will be limited to groups of 10 every three minutes, to ensure adequate spacing,” DeJoy says. “The crowds will only be a maximum of 2,000 people per night.” 

Guests, staff members, volunteers and vendors are required to wear masks except when consuming food or drinks. All shows at the festival will be performed on open-air stages or in open-sided pavilions.

“Guests do not have to submit to a temperature check, but are asked to stay home if they are sick or part of a vulnerable population,” DeJoy says. “Staff, volunteers and vendors are required to pass a daily temperature check and health questionnaire.” 

Guests are required to purchase tickets for specific event dates. Tickets are only available online in advance of desired event dates. 

“There’s always a lot of excitement for our Headless Horseman festival,” DeJoy says. “This year we had to make revisions to festival staples, but we think the outcome will leave our guests happily satisfied with some of our changes.” 

DeJoy says this year marks the 37th Headless Horseman fall festival. 

Festival activities will run throughout the month of October. Many families enjoy the haunted hayride, during which they are chased down by the Headless Horseman. Attendees can also check out a Legend of Sleepy Hollow theatrical show, a monster museum and much more. The midway will feature games including Ghost Pitch, Cauldron Toss, Pirate Ring Toss, Plinko, Monster Long Jump and Soccer Putt-Putt.

Conner Prairie is located at 13400 Allisonville Road in Fishers. Fore more info, call 317-776-6000. For festival event dates, ticket info, an activities list and more, visit connerprairie.org.

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