The Boos and Brews fundraiser will return this year on Saturday at Henry River Mill Village with some exciting additions.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun this year,” owner Calvin Reyes said. Additions to this year’s event include a stage for entertainment, an area dedicated to food trucks and more lighting features.

Pho N’ Rolls, Hickory Sandwich Shop and Cranky Crab Seafood food trucks will be serving food during the event this year. Other additions are a Ghoul Games area for Halloween-themed games and prizes, and paranormal storytelling with Soul Sisters Paranormal and Ghost Biker Explorations.

Some mainstays of the fundraising event are the Greater Hickory Jaycees’ Beer Graveyard (beer garden), spooky historic flashlight tours, an ’80s dance party with emcee Hear 4 Your Entertainment, and a costume contest with a $500 grand prize.

Money raised will go toward the Henry River Preservation Fund, a nonprofit organization that is focused on preserving artifacts and the history of Henry River Mill Village.

“Our No. 1 goal is to stay open. We want to be open to the public,” Reyes said.

He said the property has seen a significant influx of visitors since opening in May 2018. Money raised during that time has provided funds to build a stage for entertainment, run waterlines, add lighting and install motion-sensor cameras.

Reyes said many people have questioned why it appears that no progress is being made to restore the property.

“The hill that you have to climb to just get one structure done is huge,” he said. Reyes recently had one of the 2,100-square-foot houses quoted for restoration. The estimate was $260,000 to $320,000.

“It’s not something that we’re afraid of. It just takes time,” Reyes added. “I think that’s what people don’t understand right now.

“I could come in here tomorrow and demolish all of the houses and rebuild them, make them look identical and do it all for half the price — but, then they aren’t historic. They’d be new structures,” Reyes explained.

He added that events like Boos and Brews bring the nonprofit closer to completing its vision for Henry River Mill Village and provide people with historical tours and unique entertainment in the meantime.

Boos and Brews will start at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Advance tickets are $15 per person, and can be purchased on Eventbrite. General-admission tickets are $25 at the door, and designated driver tickets are $15. Parking is free.

Guests can park at Henry River Mill Village in a field; at Hildebran Town Hall, 109 S. Center St. in Hildebran; or at Mount Hebron Lutheran church, 103 Main Ave. E in Hildebran. A shuttle will bring guests to and from the off-site parking areas for free.

Henry River Mill Village is at 4255 Henry River Road, Hickory. For more information on Boos and Brews, the tours or the nonprofit organization, visit www.henryriverpreservation.com.

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