Monster Month in Elora began sometime in the 1990's with Tim Murton's lantern sculptures called the Twilight Zoo www.twilightzoo.ca
So many visitors poured into town to witness these creepy critters the Elora Business Improvement Association and the Elora Fergus Tourism decided to add to the success and interest that Tim and his monsters had stirred. The Lantern Walking Tours, Halloween Movies at the Cinema were added, then events and exhibits at the Wellington Archives and Museum just to name a few.
In 2007, members of the Elora BIA supported a volunteer Julie Denneny of inciteful marketing with her parade dreams and worked together to start the first annual non-motorized Monster March Parade. Julie, Resa and Julie also changed the Desert Rose into a Haunted house asking for donations to the food bank.
Local Blogger Story Then in 2011, Julie Denneny added the Elora Halloween Scare Fair held after the parade. Photos
Local businesses offered Monster activities like scary movies at the Gorge Cinema, Monster Tea in Fergus, Lantern tours with Older Voices/Elora tours and the local Museum and Libraries have often supported this fun fall event by offering activities.
The Scare Fair featured many events and activities including the Twilight Zoo Sculpture, Merchants Area, Performance Stage, Story Telling, Haunted house, maze and graveyard. It was wildly successful and a win win for the community bringing in thousands of visitors. Julie invited other community members like the Elora Centre for the Arts (to whom the Scare Fair donated $7,000), Tutu in you, Elora Tarot, Elora Community Theatre and many other local groups who performed on stage. Some businesses in the area were participants in vendors area featured at the event and others supported with in-kind donations or activities such as the Haunted Lantern Walking Tours relocation to work with the Scare Fair. As usual, complimentary hot drinks were offered after the parade by the local Fair Trade group and Elora Fergus Tourism among other groups. Our local Cogeco Cable TV channel televised the events and photos were taken and donated by Bill Longshaw - he is Monster Months biggest fan! Donations for the local foodbank were then and have since been collected and delivered by the Tutu youth group during the parade (check out our friends on Facebook)
Bad weather ended the Twilight Zoo early in 2012 and with the loss of income friends Julie & Tim were forced to shut down the Zoo early. This loss of income and the huge amount of work involved was more than they could imagine doing the next year so instead of the Scare Fair and Twilight Zoo In 2013, Julie held the wee Fright Fest was held after the parade which had the Glow in the Dark room, Mad Science experiments and Terrie Burton's Witches Door of Scare Fair fame all on the grounds of the Mill Street Bistro .
In 2014, The Twilight Zoo returned to the streets and local businesses supported these cool creations and free hot drinks and bonfires were on after the Parade.
2015 - More Big changes. Well, my 'fraidy folks all of these events had been brought to you by fun friends with the community in mind and no funding to do so. So, in 2015 Sensational Elora and Tutu youth group took over the parade from local artist and marketing manager Julie Denneny who founded and ran it solo up until then. And Tim, who is forever youthful and carried on offering his talent teaching art to the community.
2016 - Tim displayed the Twilight Zoo monster menagerie in the local art centre and fabulous local groups offer up halloween events including the parade and Monster Dances at the Legion to name a few.
How I am involved? I'm Julie, development, planning & operations for 2009-2014 Monster March Parade, Monster Month 10+ years and 2011 & 12 Scare Fair, Twilight Zoo & Scarecrow Contest. I create promotions & events for creative people in Centre Wellington & beyond!