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Tallahassee Museum May Cancel Halloween Howl For Good If It Can't Reinvent The Event

Pictured here is a costumed ghoul. The backdrop is a dark forest.
Kenneth Higgins
Tallahassee Museum
The Tallahassee Museum is brainstorming how to redo Halloween Howl for the future. The event is one of the museum’s largest. But it won’t be put on for 2021 and may be canceled forever says Museum President and CEO Russell Daws.

Tallahassee Museum may forever cancel one of its largest events: Halloween Howl. Held usually the week before Halloween, people could partake in carnival games, trick or treating activities, and for the strong-willed, a haunted trail in the woods. But Tallahassee Museum President and CEO Russell Daws says the museum may cancel the event for good.

"Until we find a way that we can maintain the same quality but not drain all of our resources to do it, we've got to think about it that way," Daws says.

Daws says COVID-19 caused the museum to temporarily close, dramatically lose revenue and lay off workers. In addition, he says volunteers are now harder to recruit due to pandemic health concerns. He says Halloween Howl usually needs up to 400 volunteers and occupies up to 3 staff members for a couple of months.

"We definitely have to ensure that we're running an effective and safe, well-maintained museum, and Halloween Howl would have taken away from a lot of the time we would normally devote to that," Daws says.

Still, the museum is trying to brainstorm how to bring the event back more efficiently in the future. In the meantime, another Halloween-themed event is still on. Zoobilee. Daws says it's for those 21 and up.

"Most of the event has to do with eating, drinking, camaraderie, dancing that type of thing. It's not so much like Halloween Howl where you were actually running into ghouls and goblins trying to scare you," Daws says.

Daws says Zoobilee requires fewer resources than Halloween Howl, and the return on investment is much higher. It will be held on October 29 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Tallahassee Museum.

Robbie Gaffney graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Animal Crossing, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.