REVIEWS

“The Halloween journey was magical and we had a great time! Thanks for what you do for the community here... you are amazing. I am a fan.” - Maria Todaro, Opera singer and Co-founder of The Phoenicia International Festival of The Voice

“You have created a wonderful enchanting evening for the kids & adults. What an inspiration you are for the Community!”- Anne-Caroll Michelotti, Big Indian resident, Grandmother

“Thank You! It was just amazing.” - Lesley Sawhill, Artistic Director at New Genesis Productions,Youth Theatre Company

“Of all the Halloween activities out there, none have appealed to me and my family as much as The Halloween Journey: The wholesome treasures and the folk tales are enchanting, but it is because of the setting of the event, and the way it appeals to the senses, that I know my children will revisit every Halloween as they get older: the bonfire sending spark threads up into the night and reconnecting with friends we haven't seen in ages.”- Nancy Oarneire Graham, Freelance Writer/Editor, Kingston, NY

“Thank you, Cara, for an enchanting experience!” -Nanci, Panuccio, Assistant Director of Performing Arts at the Catskill Mountain Foundation

“The Halloween Journey is the most magical children’s event that I know of…yet it appeals to each generation so profoundly, that each year more and more grown-ups attend – even the ones without kids!” –Wendy H., Shandaken, NY

 

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“WOW! THANK YOU! WOW! THANK YOU! WOWWWWW! I don't know if I was happier for my children's thrill that night or my own. I let myself feel and believe like a child and it will be a night I hope to repeat every year. It was the perfect family night for us. The expense was minimal and magic was everywhere. All of you gave me a precious gift, that I will hold close to my heart and never forget. Thank You.” -Brenda Crews, Woodstock Resident, Mother and Artist

“Prior to the Woodstock street rave, Phil and Cally [my husband and daughter] performed in another Halloween tradition here: the Halloween Journey. Cara Cruickshank, local impresario of expressive, earthy, and slightly alien kids puts together this extraordinary show each year. Phil played Rip Van Winkle and Cally a Gnome. Killian [my teenage son] and I did the journey together and I wept the entire time. It was so magical, holding his hand and walking the wetland woods. The first encounter was a lichen-covered woman who appeared to have grown into her chair. She directed us to a path, lit by a trail of tiny lights, jack-o-lanterns -- some with faces, some without -- and paper bag luminaries. The path of low light looked eternal, upward winding as it stepped up into the star-pierced sky from the grounded smell of moist earth and bonfire nearby. We happened on some small people (gnomes, sprites and such), a maple nymph, an excited fairy, old Rip Van Winkle himself (whose snoring, I can attest, was extremely realistic), Johnny Appleseed (who showed us the stars in apples), the esteemed John Burroughs…a woman who kept fireflies as a girl but reformed from sadness of loss, a wood piper, a singer with what sounded a little like a hurdy-gurdy....all minding the senses of our connectedness to nature. Killian asked why on earth I was crying…’Because it's just so damn beautiful out here.’ ”- Blog Post by Barbara Mansfield, Woodstock resident, Mother, Secretary for Hudson Valley Foundation for Youth Health, Inc.

“I loved it.  What a great way to honor Halloween and the time of year.” -Miranda Haydn, Founder of Catskill Mountain Music Together

“I want to thank you and your wonderful staff for the magical and beautiful Halloween journey last night. My daughter, my wife, my mother-in-law and myself thoroughly enjoyed it. The cast members were wonderful, their sincerity and immersion in their characters were impressive and really made you feel the magic of the journey. We are so glad that you offered an alternative to the "traditional" Halloween. It made me reflect on what I see as three distinct currents in our society. The first is doing nothing. No celebration of any of the milestones and seasons etc. The second is the dominant culture’s celebration of the profane…which celebrates the lowest common denominator and violence. And the third, is the real traditional celebrations based in spirituality and ancient cultures and wisdom. This is what you brought to us and we thank you for it.” -James Mongan, Woodstock resident and former professor at Bard

“I must say that it is magical... and the surrounding area was beautiful...and, where or who created all the poetry of words??? It was indeed impressive...I also work with children...I am a craniosacral therapist.  Looking forward to seeing more of your work.” -Susan Moran, Woodstock Resident and Cranio Sacral Therapist at the Woodstock therapy Center

“I loved being in the woods in darkness and hearing the rushing water of the river near the campfire and watching the children's faces as they accepted their sacred feathers [from Dennis Yerry as a Lenape elder]. It is sacred to have the time to experience nature and stories with a group of people. I noticed that even my 21 year old and his friend were enjoying…” -Jill Olesker, Woodstock resident and Storyteller/Arts Educator

“Thank you so much for creating such a wonderful event!!!! It was such a beautiful combination of Theatre and nature for children and adults. I really enjoyed it. My mother came with us and I do not think she has ever walked in the woods. My son Emmet really liked it too…It is so sweet to see him enjoy it year after year. It was the best ever this year and was lovely to see all your hard work and effort in perfecting this Journey. I look forward to another one next year!!! -Dina Palin, Resident of Hudson, Mother and Antique Store Owner

“I still am smiling, my heart warmed by the great beauty manifested in so many ways in the magical celebration of the spirit of Halloween. Your commitment to nurturing the creative spirit of young people is very inspiring to me.” -Ilfra Halley, Woodstock resident and Musician at The Halloween Journey

“I can't tell how much I enjoyed…You're doing a great thing. I never get to work with kids, but what a joy it was to see the wonder in their eyes (instead of the hunger for things material).I became a grandfather a year ago, so I'm rediscovering my own childhood... -Richard Scofield, Resident of Olivebridge, Actor and Volunteer in the Halloween Journey

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“The Halloween Journey was the best way to celebrate Halloween this year.  My three children talked about it for days and loved every station that you had set up.  We look forward to coming again next year.” -Jennifer Mangione, Saugerties Resident and Mom of 3

“It was about the most creative and beautifully performed event imaginable, and it is a great highlight of the year. My Mom really loved it…Thank you again for such an enchanted evening. That was some turnout and everything ran so smoothly. Lily & Luke (my children) put the stardust they received from the Star Maiden under their pillows.” -King Sacket, Resident of New Paltz and father of 2

“What a wonderful event! So delighted to see it growing so steadily every year! In sum, an amazing experience, made possible only by Cara’s incredible creativity, dedication, passion and vision – and her ability to inspire others to share it and help accomplish it – combined with extraordinary teamwork on the part of the cast and crew. Congratulations all!” -Calandra Cruickshank, Big Indian Resident and Mother of 3

“Cheers to you for a wonderful event!  As always!! Looking forward to your next event!” -Jean Druffner, Phoenicia Resident, Retired 5th grade School Teacher and Annual Volunteer Storyteller at the Halloween Journey

“My wife, our friend and three children came along and had a great time. It was genuinely one of the highlights of the holiday.” -Tim Fortune, Artist and owner of Fortune Studio, Saranac Lake, NY

“Thank you and your crew for putting on a wonderful Halloween Journey.  My daughter Victoria loved it.  Thank you for all that you do.” -James Kopp, Phoenicia Resident and President of James Kopp & Associates, Inc.

Thank you for the incredible work you put into such a delightful event. I was totally charmed by it.  Beautifully done.”-Christina Gardner, Chichester resident and Mother

“Thank you for a FABULOUS evening of magical enchantment:)  Already looking forward to experiencing it all over again next year!!!!!!!!!” -Kim, Community Member and Mother

“Cara’s work is clearly driven by a vision of unity  and understanding among people. I have been amazed by how many lives she touches in meaningful ways by bringing together people of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities and faiths…Her work not only encourages but celebrates diversity and compassion.”-Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, NYC, Kuwaiti American Sufi Imam, Author, and Activist

“Thank YOU! As always it was a great time for all.”-Sean Lathrop, Big Indian resident and Father of 5