I had never heard of a “witches ride” until I moved (back) to Alabama in early 2018. That October, I started seeing a ton of buzz on social media about these so-called “witches rides” in two neighboring communities, and it seemed that EVERYBODY was either participating or attending.
Each year since, these rides seem to grow and grow and grow. Madison hasn’t had an official “witches ride”, so dozens of our friends and neighbors prioritize going to these events in other communities to relish in all of the light-hearted fun.
BUT NOW! But NOW!
Our community has its very own official Madison Witches Ride for 2022, which is sure the be the first year of SO MANY years ahead where this event is an absolute staple on your fall calendar. This event is for the young and young at heart and benefits a really, really great cause at the same time.
MADISON WITCHES RIDE IN MADISON, ALABAMA
A witches ride is essentially a big parade where women 18+ dress up as witches – people get creative though! It’s so funny! – and parade through a two-mile area, often on bikes, in golf carts, or skipping on their own two feet. They’ll be throwing candy, showing off their creative outfits, and having a really great time!
Participants enjoy it because it brings out their creative sides and lets them be a part of something that adults often don’t get to do (participate in parades!) It’s also very unifying for the witches/ladies because they’ve done all of this prep for the greater good of doing something that benefits the whole community.
Spectators love it because it’s hilarious entertainment coupled with loads of candy all wrapped into one worthwhile event.
In a nutshell, Madison Visionary Partners has created the 1st Annual Madison Witches Ride to benefit the Kids Kingdom playground renovation. The new playground design is modern and fun and allows children of all abilities to play their hearts out (which is what all children should be able to do right here in our community). This playground is going to be wonderful.
But it’s EXPENSIVE, and there’s just a bit more money that needs to be raised to see this one to completion.
The Madison Witches Ride, Pet Parade, and More
The Madison Witches Ride will take place at Palmer Park on Sunday, October 23rd, and the entire community is invited to come to watch as a spectator, be a participant, or volunteer.
Participating will be the most fun, so if you’re 18+, here’s the deal.
Decide who you’d like to participate with and email your friends, co-workers, neighbors, family members, etc. and make sure each person registers. Registration is $50/person (because yes, this is a fundraiser and a super memorable, fun one at that!)
Decide on your theme (if desired), grab your customers, pick your set of wheels (bike, golf cart, hoverboard, scooter, your own two feet, etc.!), and then get ready to have a lot of fun on the 23rd (rain date of October 30th!)
Packet pick-up will be on Thursday, October 20th at Stem & Stein from 4-7 p.m. OR on Saturday, October 22nd from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Black Dog Grounds and Sounds coffee shop.
The day of the Madison Witches Ride actually encompasses more than the classic witches parade but also features a PET PARADE TOO!
The Barks and Boos Pet Parade will take place along the same two-mile route as the witches ride and start right after the witches ride is completed, so you’re welcome to participate in both if you’d like!
This parade will be a SIGHT TO SEE as participants parade through Palmer Park with their furry friends, most of which will be dressed up in hilarious, cute costumes with their owners. (I can already hear my kids SQUEALING over this part of the event!)
Pet parade registration is just $25 per pet.
The Madison Witches Ride will kick off at 4 p.m. and the Barks and Boos parade will begin at 4:45.
Awards of all kinds will be announced around 5:30.
Prepare to make an entire afternoon of this event though because the Black Hat Block Party will be rockin’ and rollin’ at Palmer at the upper fields on the west side of the park from 2-6 p.m. This block party is free to the community and will include games and activities for children, a DJ, concessions, and more.
Costumes are optional but encouraged, just to add to the fun of this seasonal event!
Madison Visionary Partners Executive Director Melanie Thornton says though these events can be found throughout the U.S., “each one takes on its own personality depending on the community”, and she says that the Madison community’s response to the Madison Witches Ride has been enthusiastic!
Thornton encourages each witch not to worry if she doesn’t have a bike; All kinds of transportation methods are welcome, including walking!
Thornton shares that the witches are all going to have a lot of fun, whether they’re registering as a group or an individual.
Gates will open to Palmer Park at 2 p.m. and begin with the Black Hat Block Party. Witches will begin checking in between around 2 p.m. as well and then line up at 3:30. If you’re planning to be a parade spectator, be sure to enter Palmer Park by 3:30!
Thornton encourages attendees not to be discouraged by parking as there will be plenty of it.
Registration for the witches ride and pet parade closes on October 17th, so don’t delay with registration!
All witches will have the option to choose from receiving a car magnet or a yard sign as part of their sign-up package. Yard signs will be an especially fun way to show the community your involvement in this special, new, meaningful event!
Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday, October 23rd, 2022!
Psst: Here are a few fun ideas I found online when searching for ideas!
Quick Links for the Witches Ride
Email Stephenie Walker to inquire about volunteering