Reserving a campsite at Starve Hollow State Recreation Area for Halloween weekend is like trying to get hot concert tickets.
If you don’t make campsite or rent-a-camp cabin reservations when they open six months in advance, it’s likely you won’t get one of the 168 spots available.
Since 2010, Stacey Williams of Seymour and her family have stayed at the Vallonia campground for Halloween weekend.
She said they have learned to make reservations as early as possible, mainly so her group of friends with campers can have spots near each other.
“I put it on our calendar for six months in advance, and then I send a text out to all of our friends, and I’m like, ‘If you want to get these sites, let’s all get on at the same time,'” she said.
“We started talking about at some point, we’re going to have to start parking out here all week to get (a spot),” she said. “Last year, we tried to get in on Friday, and we had a really hard time. A lot of us couldn’t get together. Just trying to get in on the weekend, there were only sites left all spread out last year.”
This year, the group chose to come out Thursday, which was a day earlier than in the past.
“We were joking like next year, it’s going to have to be Wednesday, the next year, it’s going to have to be Tuesday. Then we’re eventually going to be pulling out our camper like Oct. 15 to get out here,” she said, laughing.
The first year Williams and her husband, Kris, camped at Starve Hollow on Halloween weekend, it was only them and two other couples. Now, their group has grown to about 10 families. Most of them are Schneck Medical Center employees and their kids.
“As time went on and our kids got older and they enjoyed Halloween, it just became a thing, and they look forward to this more than the neighborhood trick-or-treating,” Stacey said.
Since they live in the country near Dudleytown, the Williamses and their three boys — ages 3, 5 and 7 — typically go to family members’ neighborhoods in Seymour for trick-or-treating on Halloween night.
But Stacey said the boys like it at Starve Hollow because they get to spend time with their friends and go from camper to camper to collect candy.
“Here, it’s all of their friends that they hang out with, and then we all come back together and have a meal together,” she said. “We’re here for a few days, and we’re here as a family, and everybody decorates, and it’s festive. They just think it’s a ball.”
Property manager Brad Schneck said Starve Hollow has been building its Halloween weekend since 2007.
Along with trick-or-treating through the campground, Saturday’s activities included crafts, pumpkin games, a costume contest and a haunted house.
Read the full story in Monday’s Tribune and online at tribtown.com.