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Ten-foot tall terror at local hay ride

Doug Taylor, founder of the Wiley West Stunt Show and many other local performances, is at it again, this time with a hay ride just north of Pine River.

This year’s interactive hay ride is a mix of theatrical performance and traditional rural entertainment. Taylor has been joined in this project by professional monster maker Brandon Horton, who created a 10-foot tall troll with which to terrorize riders.

“We have a 10-foot troll. They’ll have to come out to see it. It only comes out at dark,” Taylor said. “We decided to try to create some trolls this year. We had a zombie apocalypse last year and decided zombies were kind of boring at this point. Everyone is doing that.”

In addition, the show is using the new talent of locals who attended Taylor’s summer acting workshops. The crew consists of around 20 performers, though you might not always know who is part of the show. Locals performing in the show include Sophie Williams and Jarod Birr.

The show is interactive, so riders could very well have a close run in with monsters along this woodland ride.

“Basically, you get to experience a hay ride and be in the middle of the action,” Taylor said.

The show is approximately 20 minutes, though the length will vary according to audience ages and other factors. Rides start right at dark and will run until about 10 p.m. Participants will get free hot apple cider.

Past shows, like the zombie apocalypse show, have taken place in Nisswa and Pequot Lakes, but Taylor said he has fewer restrictions while holding the adventure on his own property.

“We wanted to bring something closer to home, and we might keep Halloween in Pine River,” Taylor said.

The show is meant to be scary and parents should keep that in mind when bringing children. Prices are $10 for adults, $5 for children and there are special prices for group rates. There will also be special prices for anyone who brings food shelf donations or empty soda cans.

Shows will run Friday and Saturday, Oct. 25 and 26, and, of course, Thursday, Oct. 31.

“Be prepared to see something you’ll never forget. That’s our motto,” Taylor said.