By Portia Williams
GRAYSON, Ky. — Dan Click, Director of The Grayson Gallery & Art Center, Inc. (GGAC) said they will be taking a big part in the upcoming annual Funtober Fest event sponsored by the Grayson Area Chamber of Commerce. Funtober Fest will begin Oct. 3, starting with a Rotary Pancake Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and ending that night at the new venue, The Haunted Jail at 10:30 p.m.
Click, said their goal is bring awareness to the importance of the arts to the community and local economic development.
“As the GGAC Director, President of both the Chamber and Grayson Rotary Club, I’m also happy to be wearing several hats during this year’s celebration and want to put in a good word for some of the exciting activities where I’m involved, many of which are the result of our goal to bring awareness to the importance of the arts to a community and local economic development,” Click said.
According to Click, the Funtober Fest project has been expanded by its committee to include not just Grayson’s Main Street, but will also have a host of other activities going on in and around the surrounding area.
Those events include the new Grayson Gallery & Carter County Courthouse’s ‘Haunted Jail’ attraction behind the courthouse over to the Grayson Rotary Club’s annual Pancake Breakfast at the Grayson Senior Center on Hord Street. Funtober Fest attendees can go to Second Street to the First Church of Christ Family Life Center’s ‘Health Fest,’ another new event.
“The Haunted Jail, the newest event sponsored by the Grayson Gallery set to open during Funtober Fest, is as much about community cooperation in Carter County as it is an attraction for visitors. As we were identifying cultural assets over the past year as part of the county’s Community Partners’ initiative, the Arts, Beautification and Culture (ABC) Committee identified the amazing WPA-built structure that housed the former jail as a little-known but potentially amazing venue,” Click said. “Ideas for use of the property ranged from a possible bed & breakfast to a future home for the Grayson Gallery & Art Center, Inc. (GGAC).”
He said he and his wife Mindy Click, presented their idea about a haunted jail with members of the staff of Carter County Judge Mike Malone’s office.
“After much discussion, we decided to do more than just talk about it so my wife Mindy and I scheduled a visit with the folks in Carter County Judge Mike Malone’s office. The Judge had actually mentioned having a haunted-house type of project on both ends of the county to attract visitors so, with the help of his Executive Secretary Melissa Brooks, we took a tour,” Dan Click said. “The idea of a ‘haunted house’ quickly came to mind and having had a Halloween party at the gallery in 2013 with the help of Amanda (GGAC :President) and Tim Grigsby (a Grayson Tourism Commissioner) who really know their stuff about the great outdoors as well as all things scary via their Grigsby Outdoor Adventures business, we knew they were the ones we needed to make it all happen.”
Click anticipates great success with the Haunted Jail, and attributes it to the cooperation from Malone’s office, in conjunction with massive support from artists, actors and the community.
“With the help and cooperation of Carter County Judge Mike Malone’s office and the Courthouse staff, the Haunted Jail is one of the fastest-growing projects supported by the Grayson Gallery and is expected to attract a lot of interest and visitors. Put together from the creative minds and the hard work of the artists, actors and volunteers as well as the community leaders involved, this attraction is expected to reach more people than almost anything we’ve done before,” he said.
The Haunted Jail will open during Funtober Fest during the day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again that night in full force from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. and every Friday and Saturday night from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. through Halloween.
In addition to the Haunted Jail and other events and activities, visitors and participants can head over to Third and Park Streets to see out FEAT (Foothill Eco-Agri Tourism – see www.ekfeat.com) for businesses and vendors that have been welcomed back to set up in and around the Grayson Gallery (which will also host the ‘First Book’ readings and give out their free books for children) to the Grayson Tourism Cabin right next door for fall decor and Scarecrow Contest winners on display.
Near the City Building, everyone will have an opportunity to enjoy the ‘Chili in the Hills’ Chili Cook-off at the Grayson City Park with a new live music event and more.
Funds raised from ticket sales will be used to expand programming at the GGAC and include projects such as setting up the gallery’s Artist Market and ongoing upgrades to the main space as well as a new arts-education component for children and adults which will kick off with a Tie-Dye Workshop in the gallery on Oct. 30.
The kick off during daylight hours on Oct. 3, and then open full force that night from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. and will continue every Friday and Saturday night through Halloween.
Click also said that plans are in the works to stop the line at a certain point so that volunteers can get home for some rest before midnight’s bewitching hour.
“We couldn’t do this without all these community-minded people, plus many, many more behind the scenes and I want to take this opportunity to thank them all,” Dan Click said.
For more information, contact the gallery for information: [email protected], and visit the Haunted Jail, Grayson, Ky. Facebook page.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.