The cold rain Saturday morning could have been detrimental to the Monongahela Witch Festival for a few reasons, but the sun came out Saturday and so did the crowds.
Claudia Williams, the event coordinator, said the past two years the festival saw pouring rain, so this year, the 4th annual, they moved it up a couple weekends to try to catch nicer weather. Her plan worked.
“It’s a unique festival,” Williams said. “It’s an adult costume party. People love it and come from all over.”
The 18+ festival that started at 1 p.m. included a large costume contest, dancing and a special alcoholic beverage –“Sex on the Mon,” a mix of rum, peach schnapps, orange/pineapple juice, cranberry juice and Sierra Mist. There was also more than 60 food and craft vendors, with several booths of homemade witch hats, cloaks and broom sticks.
“There are so few venues for adults anymore,” Williams said. “This is like a big party where they can express themselves as adults for Halloween.”
It’s also a place for art enthusiasts and creative minds like April Sims of Cokeburg. She’s been selling her witchy artwork – brooms, hats, cauldrons and jewelry – at the festival for years.
“I’m obsessed with witches,” she said. “Ever since I was little, I’ve just loved Halloween. I feel at home here. We have loyal vendors who stick it out rain or shine.”
Sondra Scott, owner of Wicked Web Jewelry in North Hills, is a regular pop-up vendor at the festival. She said this year she was more prepared for rain than ever before.
“This is the first time we’ve seen the sun,” she said. “We’ve done other witch festivals, but I like that this is for adults only because you can just be yourself. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s my kind of people.”