It's October, and that means Haunted Trail time at Carter Caves State Resort Park!

Park manager Chris Perry told the Carter County Tourism Board at their last regular meeting that the park has already started running commercials for the popular seasonal event in markets like Lexington. They also have two large billboard ads up for the event in the Lexington market. One of the billboards is located near Paul Miller Ford, while the other is by the Jif Peanut Butter facility. Both locations are “high traffic areas,” explained the tourism board's Renee LeMaster Stewart.

In addition to that, the tourism board is employing geofencing digital advertising to share the word at other spooky events and locations around the region.

The trail opens this weekend, Oct. 4, and will be open Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 19. Ticket sales open at 7:30 in the evening and stay on sale until the last chance to walk through at 10 p.m.

Tickets for the quarter-mile trail are $12 per person, but Perry noted that they are again offering a discount for donations of canned goods and other non-perishable food items. These donated items, along with funds raised from the Haunted Trail, will be used to distribute backpacks filled with food to local schools to help feed hungry children in our communities.

Perry also shared with the board that Carter Caves has been chosen to host park managers and office staff from other parks around the state at an event next April. Perry said that they are looking at catering a meal inside Cascade Cavern as part of the event, as well as working on plans to possibly get local celebrity chef Jason Smith to help plan and present the menu.

In other action the board, which has been in operation for two years this month, approved a motion to restock promotional items and discussed plans to get an initiative on the ballot to allow alcohol sales across the county. The board missed the deadline for getting the initiative on the May ballot, but they are confident they can meet the deadline to get it on the ballot next November.

Carter Country is currently what is described as a moist county, meaning the county itself is dry, but it contains cities that have passed initiatives allowing alcohol sales within city limits.

The ballot initiative backed by the tourism board would allow businesses in the county to apply for licenses to sell alcoholic beverages either packaged or by the drink.

Contact the writer at jwells@journal-times.com.

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