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Witches of South Walton keep riding

Staff Report

The Witches of South Walton are set to ride in the 17th Annual Witch Ride later this month to support the mission of Children’s Volunteer Health Network (CVHN).

“What started out as a casual ride amongst friends in 2004 has grown into nearly 400 participants in 2019,” said ​Stephen Brinker, President of the Witches of South Walton. “Our 2019 ride raised more than $19,000 dollars for CVHN crushing our previous year’s total. It's always great to see how something as simple as riding a bike can get so many ladies together to help those in need.”

The Witches of South Walton keep riding during uncertain times to support the mission of Children’s Volunteer Health Network (CVHN); providing dental, vision and mental health services for children in Walton and Okaloosa counties.

CVHN, a faith-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2005, provides dental, vision and mental health services for children in Walton and Okaloosa counties.  The Witches of South Walton's new ride in the Bluewater Bay/Niceville area of Okaloosa County brings further awareness of their cause.

Pre-ride events will take place in Walton and Okaloosa counties. Participants can pick up packets at Grayton Seafood on Oct. 28 in Grayton Beach or at 3rd Planet Brewery on Oct. 29 in Niceville. Both events will run from 5 to 8 p.m. with live music, drink specials and more.

The Witches of South Walton have added additional ride options this year, taking safety precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gathering limits and health precautions are being taken for everyone's safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional ride options will complement the traditional morning ride along 30A. In South Walton, The Witches of South Walton added two rides; a sunset ride and a weekend ride. A new ride tradition is starting for the Niceville area riders with the introduction of the Bluewater Ride that will follow the morning ride tradition. 

“There’s No Place Like Home to Ride” will bring The Witch Ride to additional neighborhoods and communities across the area and the country. These participants can ride at their leisure when they see fit. Participation packets, or “swag bags,” will be sent out to all who register to ride. The swag bag will include the “Walton County Witch” sticker, signature mimosa cup and many other goodies.

The 2020 Witch Ride will take place Oct. 30-31, launching from Gulf Place in South Walton and the Bluewater Bay in Okaloosa County.

The rides will take place Friday and Saturday, Oct. 30-31, of Halloween weekend, launching from Gulf Place in South Walton and the Bluewater Bay in Okaloosa County. Riders should arrive early to decorate their bikes before their ride begins. Full details for all rides, including launch time, locations, routes and other information can be found on the Witches of South Walton’s website, www.WitchesOfSouthWalton.com.

After each of the rides in South Walton, participants will gather for some post-ride potions, a social hour with mimosa and a special raffle happening. The Bluewater Riders will conclude their ride at 3rd Planet Brewery where festivities will follow including drinks, an on-site food truck serving brunch, music and some small raffles.

The raffle and silent auction have moved online to be open to event riders and other supporters in the area and afar. As with past raffles, participants can expect a selection of items from various businesses in the community. The popular competitions; Most Witchy Outfit, Witchiest Cackle & Best Broom (bike) Decor have also moved online. The Witches of South Walton are asking participants to submit the best looks and haunting cackles via email. Vote-by-Donation will take place to decide the winner of each competition.

Another new feature for 2020 is the Battle of the Klatches. A group competition to see whose klatch (team) can raise the most funds through their own unique ways. The winning klatch will have a reserved front of the line spot in the 2021 Founders Ride and a reserved table at Brunch.

“We have participants come in town from all over the country, and every year, riders rave about how much fun this event is,” said Carol Stafford, a ride founder. “Nothing gets you in the spirit of Halloween like dressing as a witch and riding your bike down Highway 30A. We get lots of honks and give lots of cackles!”

Registration is available at www.WitchRide.com.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Oct. 28: 5 p.m. Witches Brew at Grayton Seafood

Oct. 29: 5 p.m. Pre-Flight Witch Night at 3rd Planet Brewery

Oct. 30: 7 a.m. Founders Ride at the Amphitheater at Gulf Place followed by post-ride gathering at Shunk Gulley; 8 a.m. Bluewater Ride at Tango 3 Coffee followed by post-ride gathering at 3rd Planet Brewery; 5:30 p.m. Sunset Ride at Gulf Place

Oct. 31: 10:30 a.m. Goblin Ride at Gulf Place followed by post-ride gathering at Perfect Pig