Two Akron icons are teaming up for some scary fun this Halloween season.
Claude DeBord, known for his outlandish Halloween blasts that outgrew his backyard many full moons ago, is moving his annual ghoulish celebration to Derby Downs.
This is the fifth move for the festival that started in 1995 and has grown like the Blob with each year's incarnation.
When it outgrew the backyard of his Millbrook Street home, he moved to a VFW hall and then Akron's Hardesty Park to accommodate the collection of belly dancers, costumed characters and Halloween lovers.
Just last year, DeBord tried out the confines of Akron's Lock 3 Park in downtown Akron.
But with some 10,000 or so visitors and dozens of exhibitors and performers, that too proved to be just a bit too cozy.
So when they pull out the coffins, cobwebs and other spooky decorations on Oct. 13, DeBord is trying out the home of the Soap Box Derby — and he plans to use every inch of the place.
He's bringing back the car show and parking them on the bottom of the hill.
Along the grassy area aside from the track, DeBord said, the vendors and exhibitors will be lined up leading to the top of the hill, where he plans to put up a stage for performers.
The track itself will be off-limits, but brave souls can fork over some extra bucks to take a trip down the asphalt inside an oversized derby car from 3 to 7 p.m.
Like years past, admission to the celebration is free.
And this year promises to be bigger than last, as he had to cap the number of exhibitors and vendors in the 90s because of limited space at Lock 3.
DeBord said he expects there be around 120 or so this go around.
TV horror hosts Big Chuck and Little John are making their 10th straight appearance, along with the Son of Ghoul, 10 bands, four belly dance groups, hay and train rides, wrestlers and even some roller derby girls.
Since this is a Halloween event, and keeping with its roots as a party, DeBord said, folks are encouraged to wear costumes and have fun.
He plans to decorate the sprawling grounds with props, 150 bales of hay, 150 clumps of cornstalks and even a graveyard.
"We will decorate everything we possibly can," he said. "This should be an ideal setting — there's plenty of room."
Craig Webb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-996-3547.