Save the date: Haunted Hickory set for Oct. 29

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Hickory will host the annual Haunted Hickory food drive on Oct. 29.

The annual event, which dates back to when the Coast Guard Cutter Sedge was homeported in Homer, is sponsored by the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Hickory each year around Halloween.  Since its origin, it has risen in size and popularity — last year more than 1,100 guests come aboard.  

Free and open to the public, it has been enjoyed by locals for the festive thrills, while the crew uses it as an opportunity to give back to their local community and collect food for the Homer Community Food Pantry, a local non-profit organization. In 2014, more than 3,100 pounds of food were donated through this event. 

The ship will be open at two separate times so that the crew can gear the event to different age ranges and guests with different fright levels. 

From 4-5 p.m., the ship will be open for a less-intense tour, appropriate for younger audiences. From 6-10 p.m., the ship will be open for more mature audiences who will be treated to intense thrills. With the added decorations and preparations made by the crew, the Hickory can provide a really good scare when you’re walking down those small, dark corridors and winding passageways. 

The crew really looks forward to this event and helps make it a truly unique experience for the residents of Homer.   The later viewing is not suitable for children under 13 years of age and those that frighten easily.  

Guests are reminded that Hickory is a working vessel and is not ADA compliant. There are many steep staircases and cumbersome walkways. Moderate physical activity is required for guests to transit along the tour. Crew members of the Hickory will not touch any guest during any scare portion of the tour, and request that guests refrain from touching their tour guides. 

Guests should dress warmly, as the staging area for the tour will be on the pier and exposed to the elements. No alcohol is allowed on the ship or the pier.

All attendees are encouraged to bring two nonperishable food items to the event.  These food items are donated to the food pantry.  Traditionally the food collected from the annual event helps the pantry meet the upcoming holiday demands.