October has become one of the busiest camping months of the year as RVers by the tens of thousands flock to their favorite campgrounds every weekend during the month to celebrate Halloween by decorating their rigs, dressing up in costumes, and turning trick-or-treating into weekend-long festivals.
It's like that all across North America but one of the busiest is always the Kentucky Horse Park near Lexington, Kentucky. The place sells out every weekend in October and to get a spot, many campers had to book their sites a year in advance.
This weekend, close to 1,500 people will be here and the festivities and activities run all day long.
Jennifer and I visited it on a Wednesday and Thursday and found the place half full already by early birds – Halloween campers who have so much fun stay for weeks at a time.
At night, their motorhomes, fifth wheels, truck campers and travel trailers are strung with lights and spooky decorations. There are paper mache spiders, witches, werewolves, skeletons, headless horsemen and elaborately carved pumpkins. Cobwebs are strung between trees, tombstones sprout from the ground, ghostly sheets wave in the breeze. The park provides inflatables that can be borrowed as well. There are costume parades and contests, wagon rides, music, barbecue and campfire socializing.
“You should see it when the kids start trick or treating,” says Charley Brown (yes, that's his real name), who with wife Debra and her brother and sister-in-law Rick and Kim Jordan, were sharing two spots the night we arrived. Their campsites are strewn with lights and thousands of little star bursts were laser projected on the Brown's fifth wheel.
“There must be at least 1,000 kids coming by for candy, going up and down from campsite to campsite,”said Charley.
The Browns are from Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The Jordans are from Waverly, Ohio. “The Kentucky Horse Park is exactly three hours from each of us,” says Rick. “It's the perfect spot to meet.”
This is the fifth year the two couples have been coming here for one of the weekends leading up to Halloween.
“It is an absolute ball,” adds Debra.
Jennifer and I met the couples as we were strolling around taking photos. Turns out Deb is a regular reader of the blog and a podcast listener. She made us feel like celebrities when she took our photo! The next morning, she gave us a bag of fresh apples and some of their trick-or-treat candy.
In the daytime, we explored more the sprawling campground (over 265 sites with hookups and a couple hundred more boondocking spots). Lots of campers build booths with canvas and tenting material and stage it like little houses of horror.
We met two women from Lexington who brought their RVs out to the park. They had spent hours decorating their two sites for the trick-or-treaters. That's them holding the big paper mache spider you see here on the page.
What's happening at the Kentucky Horse Park is being played out at campgrounds everywhere. Many in the northern states will close down for the season right after Halloween. So if you are looking for one more outing in your RV before the winter, this is the time.
Here's some more photos…