Tractor brings back a scaled-down but still fun Stranger Things Carnival

One of the more popular seasonal events at Tractor Wells Park will return this Saturday, albeit pared down from its pre-pandemic excess.

The Stranger Things Drag Queen Bingo and Carnival will 6 to 11 p.m., instead of the old 5 to 1 a.m. timeframe. The arcade portion of the old carnival is gone as well, but in the end it all adds up to a more reasonable ticket price, and should still be a grand time for one and all.

“The overhead cost of doing a parking-lot-wide event is just exorbitant,” said Tractor marketing director Jeremy Kinter. “So what we did is pare it down. We put it with the Drag Queen Bingo, and we teamed up with Blackout (Theater Company), whom we did the last one with, and 100-percent of the proceeds, all the ticket sales, are going to them. And, all the Drag Queen Bingo card sales are all going to Blackout. It’s going to be a fortuitous event for their nonprofit.”

The cost is $8 per person if you buy in advance, and $10 at the door on the day of the event. It was $18 back in 2019, which Kinter said was just too high of a price for most people.

“Our last iteration was too big, if that’s even possible,” Kinter said. “The price point for the tickets was too much, and just in terms of dealing with tent companies, overhead costs in general.

“That was a big one, too, dealing with the tent companies right now. Their prices have skyrocketed.”

Instead of taking over the entire parking lot, only a portion will be used this time around, mainly where the carport-like patio extension was over the summer. That should save some parking spots for customers, which is needed since Fourth Street in front of Tractor is currently closed off due to some sort of ongoing city maintenance project. Use Second and Third Streets to reach the brewery, or better yet, take an Uber or Lyft.

Back to the event itself, the schedule will kick off with doors at 6 p.m., then the band Midnight Stew will perform outside from 6:15 to 7. The Drag Queen Bingo will kick off inside at 7 and run until 9. Music will then resume outside from 9 to 9:45 with All Thicc, followed by Illegal Aliens from 10 to 10:45.

“I have five local, spooky vendors as well,” Kinter said. “That is Spectral Youth, who we partnered with to book the vendors, and they’re the ones that have been putting on our Tractor of Terror, the horror movies we show every Thursday. Two Stoned Betties, you know them. Know Alternative Trading Co., Lab Creature, Person of Interest Arts, and Willin and Chillen Arts.”

There will also be two food trucks, All Greek 2 Me and Taste of Love, with the latter offering up a special Stranger Things-themed menu. There will also be some unique drink specials offered up at the bar, all keeping with the theme of the streaming series and Halloween in general.

Kinter said that while he wished he could have brought back the arcade games, they are now being put to use over at Holmes Pizza and Arcade downtown.

If you cannot make it to the carnival this Saturday, Tractor still has plenty of other Halloween-themed events through the following weekend.

“We did work in some of our (other) Halloween programming as well,” Kinter said. “(Next) Thursday night, we’ve got our last Tractor of Terror, where we show a horror movie, have two vendors, and will give away some prizes. That’s the 28th. Friday the 29th is Halloween Goth Night with DJ Riff Raff and DJ Renn. That’s going to be really fun. The last goth night we had here blew up, it was out of control. There will be spooky vendors at that as well. And then, Saturday (the 30th) we’re closing it out with a Very Synyster Vail Halloween.”

It is good to see Tractor and other breweries being able to get back into the swing of holiday events, and we can only hope this continues into the winter months.

A big thanks to Jeremy for the interview on short notice.

Keep supporting local!

— Stoutmeister

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