Hoover Sun file photo
2014 Hoover Hayride and Family Night
An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people attended the 2014 Hoover Hayride and Family Night at Veterans Park in Hoover, Ala., on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014.
Thousands of costumed kids and adults are expected to flock to Veterans Park in Hoover Thursday night for the 2015 Hoover Hayride and Family Night.
The event, now in its seventh year, is scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. and will include tractor-driven hayrides, face painting, balloon twisters, a photo booth and a disc jockey, but one of the highlights of the night is the giant tent filled with Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce members handing out free candy.
At least 75 businesses and organizations in the Hoover chamber have signed up to bring candy, said Erin Colbaugh, events coordinator for the city of Hoover.
Several food vendors also are scheduled to be on site, including Papa John’s Pizza, Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ, Chick-fil-A, Urban Pops and Repicci’s Italian Ice. Repicci’s also plans to have coffee and hot chocolate in case it gets a little chilly, Colbaugh said.
A few life-size cartoon characters are expected to be in attendance as well, including the Backyardigans, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and one of the Minions, she said.
Last year’s event drew an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people, Colbaugh said. See more photos from 2014 here.
The event was moved to Thursday night this year because Spain Park High School, which is right next door, is having a home football game Friday night, Colbaugh said.
Festival organizers had hoped to avoid a conflict with the Hoover High School football game as well, but that game was rescheduled from Friday night to Thursday night so it can be broadcast on ESPN2, Colbaugh said.
The Hoover Hayride and Family Night sometimes draws people from outside the Birmingham-Hoover metro area.
Parking is available at Spain Park High School, with free shuttle service to Veterans Park. Admission to the event is free, but there are charges for food and beverages.