Have A Witching Good Time At 7th Annual Fundraising Event
Published: September 29th, 2022
By: Sarah Genter

Have a Witching Good Time at 7th annual fundraising event Attendees at the 2021 Witching Good Time fundraiser. Those who attend are encouraged to dress up as witches and enjoy the day. This year's event will be held on Saturday, October 1 and feature five musical performers, food, a 50/50 raffle, and a silent auction. (Photo by Dustin Genter of 5th Dimension Photography)

NORWICH — The Witching Good Time fundraiser is returning to Rita's Tavern for their seventh year on Saturday, October 1 from 2 p.m. until closing, to celebrate Halloween and raise money for the City of Norwich Youth Bureau.

Last year, the event saw it's largest fundraising total to date with $2,695 donated to the Youth Bureau.

Admission is $10 per person, and includes grilled hotdogs and hamburgers, macaroni salad, and potato salad, as well as the performance by five musicians and bands. This year's performers include Purple Fred, Buckshot's Brother, Grady Thompson, Mike Davis, Three Mad Poets, and DJ Randizzle.

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Additionally, attendees can purchase tickets for a 50/50 raffle, which are a dollar a piece or five tickets for $6.

Several local businesses have also pitched in by donating gift baskets and items that will be up for silent auction next door to Rita's Tavern in the former Grey Fox.

Auction items include gift cards to various local eateries, fall decor baskets, wine and wine glasses, a necklace from McNeil Jewelers, candle baskets, one entry to the Rita's Open golf tournament, wireless speaker and cooler camping chairs, cozy blankets, a grilling basket, and much more.

Witching Good Time founder and organizer Sarah Lorimer said the event currently has 29 raffle items, with more on the way.

All money raised from admission, the 50/50 raffle, and the silent auction will be donated to the Youth Bureau.

"Whatever we raise in cash goes to the Youth Bureau," said Lorimer. "Three Mad Poets donated back last year when we had them play, too. They had them do an encore, and they got $600 and he handed it back to us. So pretty much everything we auction off, and through the door, any cash goes to the Youth Bureau."

"When somebody wins the 50/50 they donate it back, too. Most people do," added co-organizer "Purple Mary" Neadom.

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The Witching Good Time began in 2013 when a group of friends decided to dress up as witches and do a bar crawl through Norwich.

"It started because I didn't have anything going on the first week in October. Usually each weekend I have something going on, between my kid's parties, adult Halloween parties, and going out in town for dressing up," said Lorimer. "When we first started we had 28 people that dressed up as witches, and we proceeded to bar hop and then come back to Rita's."

After that, the event grew each year until it wasn't as feasible as a bar crawl anymore. In 2019, the Witching Good Time was held at Rita's Tavern for the first time. After one year off due to the pandemic in 2020, the event made its return last year, and will be back again this weekend.

"It’s so cool because when she first told me, the first year we were going to do it, I’m like, 'you’re going to dress like witches?' So we all just dressed like a witch and didn’t put any imagination into it," said Neadom. "Now, people are just so creative. It is amazing some of the outfits people come up with."

The event's growth also allowed for Lorimer to turn it into a fundraiser, something she said she wanted to do after the bar crawl reached 100 participants.

"Once we get 100 people, then we’re donating back to the community. It’s worth it," said Lorimer. She added they decided to donate to the Norwich Youth Bureau because "it goes to kids. It’s towards kids. I mean, anybody can donate to shelters and stuff like that, but it’s kids in the community. It’s important that they have something, if families can’t do it, that there’s something that we provide."

"They take them down to ball games in Binghamton, they take them to Water Safari. Kids that never get out of town otherwise, you know?" Neadom added. "It's really a nice thing."