Few days of the year are more exciting for La Grange resident Alyssa Olewinski than Halloween. But one of them is the Saturday before, when Pleasant Dale Park District holds its annual haunted hayride and bonfire. A former employee of the district, she has moved on but returns to help with the fall event every year.
Q. How long have you been involved with the haunted hayride?
A. This is about my fifth year. I started working at the park district when I was 16. It was my first job. I started with the haunted hayride about three years later.
Q. What are you doing now?
A. I work full-time as a preschool teacher in La Grange.
Q. What do you enjoy about the haunted hayride?
A. I love seeing everybody. It’s simple, yet local, and a chance to spend the day with each other.
Q. What makes Halloween your favorite holiday?
A. I like the creativity. I just love it.
Q. Have you chosen your costume for this year?
A. I started working on it the first week of October. I’m going to be a spider. All I really had to do was crate my four extra legs. For the hayride itself, I will just wear a pumpkin shirt.
Q. Do you prefer to be gory or cute on Halloween?
A. I hate being scared, so I usually do something creative rather than scary.
Q. Will those who like to be scared enjoy the Haunted Hayride?
A. The littler ones can enjoy a nice hayride through the forest. After dark, it gets scarier, with people hiding out there to scare you.
Q. How long does the ride take?
A. About five minutes. But then, people can stay for the bonfires, s’mores and hot chocolate.
Q. Do people need to sign up ahead of time?
A. We do sell tickets the night of, but we like to be prepared. Reservations are not a bad idea.
Q. Who is the event for?
A. I would say it’s for everybody.