GAMBIER — A unique, seasonal outdoor experience awaits visitors at the Brown Family Environmental Center near Gambier on Friday. The brainchild of Susan Kahrl, who witnessed a similar program at Oglebay Park, the Halloween Legends lantern tour offers Knox County residents a chance to connect with nature and enjoy an educational program of the season.
“It’s not scary. It’s very family friendly and fun,” said Kahrl. “It’s a little different way to experience the [Brown Family Environmental Center].”
Kahrl’s idea for this program directed her to Heather Doherty, program manager at the BFEC, who quickly latched on to Kahrl’s vision, and production of the Lantern Tour was under way. The tour is an outdoor trek through the grounds of the center, where participants will stop at numerous stations and take in a variety of presentations relevant to the legends of the season.
“This should appeal to those who might not come here otherwise,” said Doherty of the tour. “We don’t want to scare people about being outside or enhance their phobias. Our mission is to connect people with nature. It’s a great way to be outside.”
Groups of approximately 15 people will begin their journey through the tour led by a tour guide carrying a lantern. Each stop on the tour will be lit by lanterns and will offer up different features from stories, songs or unique presentations from a cast of special characters.
Scheduled characters at the various stops are as follow:
•Mike Petee — Stingy Jack and the legend of the jack-o’-lantern.
•Diana Langley — Scarecrow stories.
•Bill and Nancy Jantsch — Singing the ballads of the “Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe.
•Jim and Amy Stoner — Meet Edgar Allan Poe, American author of legendary scary stories and poetry.
•Jesse Miller — Balladeer singing songs about ghostly occurrences.
•Dorothy Michalski — Legends of the sycamore trees.
•Paulina Gutierrez — Owl stories.
At the conclusion of the tour, participants are invited to join Tim Schutt for stories around the campfire.
The tour is appropriate for all ages and is not the typical scary or haunted experience associated with Halloween. Tour participants are to keep in mind that it will be about a one-mile walk.
Tours will run from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday. The Brown Family Environmental Center is at 9781 Laymon Road, Gambier, just south of Kenyon College.
There is a cost for those 9 years old and older. Tickets are limited, and advance purchase is recommended. Tickets are available at the BFEC, Kenyon Bookstore and Sips in Mount Vernon. The tour is presented by the Mount Vernon Players and the BFEC. Proceeds will be used to support other future public programs for the center and the Mount Vernon Players. For more information, call 427-5052, or e-mail Heather Doherty at firstname.lastname@example.org.