HERMAN, NEBRASKA (October 16, 2023) When the autumn winds begin to chill and the leaves start to fall, there’s a palpable sense of anticipation in the air around Herman, Nebraska. It’s not just the onset of Halloween that excites the residents but the now-infamous “Monster Bash”. A Halloween event that has grown in reputation and scale over the last three years, the Monster Bash is the brainchild of Larry (L.J.) Hawkins, Kevin Hawkins, and Kevin Clapper.
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“What really inspired us to get the ball rolling was a shared passion for Halloween and scaring people,” L.J. recalls. For him, it goes beyond just a seasonal celebration. His love for all things spooky traces back to his childhood, where he volunteered at a haunted house in Prescott, AZ. He reminisces, “In high school I volunteered to scare in a local haunted house in Prescott, AZ. I thought it was the coolest thing ever! From then on I’ve always wanted to start my own haunt!”
The Monster Bash is more than just another Halloween event. Every year, it adopts a fresh theme, ensuring that participants experience something new and thrilling. This year, attendees can expect to be enthralled by the “Freak Show” theme, promising a night of chilling surprises.
But the event isn’t just about scares. It’s a community affair. The Herman Community Club plays an instrumental role, especially for the younger attendees. “The Herman Community Club has been a vital piece of the puzzle for us downstairs. They plan an awesome event down there for all ages. Kids games, activities, and good food!” says L.J., highlighting the collaborative spirit of the Monster Bash.
There’s a vision for the Monster Bash’s future too. In the next five years, the organizers hope to acquire their own land, allowing them to build and maintain the haunt throughout the year. Their ambition? “We want to become Washington counties first big haunted attraction,” L.J. declares with confidence.
Yet, as with any large-scale event, there are challenges. Space constraints, especially since the event is set up in the upstairs of the legion, are a persistent issue. However, L.J. and his team are undeterred. He believes in the strength of his team, stating, “We overcome challenges like this with teamwork and a dedicated crew who’s passionate about what we do.”
Safety is paramount at the Monster Bash. Three firefighters and two EMTs, including L.J. himself, are present every night, ensuring a secure environment for everyone. Beyond the scares and safety measures, it’s the spirit of gratitude that stands out. L.J. warmly acknowledges everyone who’s been part of the journey, including Rylee Rasmussen for her makeup and special effects prowess, Tiffany Mcandrew, and the entire Herman community club.
But L.J.’s commitment to community events isn’t just limited to Halloween. He’s also been instrumental in reviving the traditional horseshoe tournament during Herman Days. Just as the Monster Bash connects people over shared spooks, the horseshoe tournament bonds the community over a game deeply rooted in tradition. This duality showcases L.J.’s dedication to fostering community spirit, be it through the clang of horseshoes or the thrill of a Halloween scare.
As L.J. aptly puts it, events like these are about “creating memories that last a lifetime.” Whether you’re looking to get spooked at the Monster Bash or enjoy a friendly game during Herman Days, Herman, Nebraska, under the guidance of figures like L.J. Hawkins, promises experiences that are truly unforgettable.
For more information on the Monster Bash, contact L.J. Hawkins at 402-575-0784 or Ljhawkins37@gmail.com.