Fly your freak flag at KHEN Halloween party

Don’t be afraid to let your freak flag fly at the 12th Annual KHEN Halloween Bash. Leslie Matthews, KHEN chair of the board of directors, encourages it.

“The atmosphere is not typical of a fund raiser or party, it’s like entering another world. It’s a celebration of the ‘fly your freak flag attitude’ we have here in Salida.”

The party is 7-11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Salida SteamPlant Event Center.

“There’s no way you can’t have a good time. People are so out there. To me, it is the one thing that makes Salida special. This event harkens back to Salida’s tradition of community and letting your freak flag fly, as I like to say.”

The costume contest winners will be announced at 9 p.m., and you must be present to win.

Dan Bender, Monarch Mountain marketing director, will be there to personally award two free 2017-18 season passes. This is the first year there are two passes to be awarded. “It doubles your chances of winning,” Matthews said.

There will be a panel of judges comprised of prominent members of the community.

Starburn, a ’60s and ’70s rock band from Colorado Springs, will return for their second consecutive Halloween Bash.

Guitarist Dale Creel said last year’s event “was a blast. The room was packed and the audience was very appreciative. We had a great time. We love the people of Salida.”

Starburn’s set list covers The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Chicago and The Doobie Brothers, just to name a few.

Creel said the band members will be dressed in costume too.

The Halloween Bash is one of two fund raisers KHEN holds each year. Their March birthday party is the other. New this year, KHEN also held a non-fund-raising event, the Block Party, with the goal of giving back to the community.

KHEN is a community radio station, 106.9 FM, that operates with volunteers and a few staff members. “We’re hoping for a big blowout this year,” Matthews said. “We really need it.”

If enough money is raised from the party, Matthews said instead of “scrambling” all winter, KHEN staff can “hunker down and do grant writing.” The goal of the grant writing is to be able to hire full-time staff. Having full-time staff would help make KHEN more sustainable and valuable, which is the goal. “Being sustainable is worthless if we’re not valuable.”

KHEN is aiming to be a media platform, more than just music. Currently the radio station produces podcasts that you can click and listen to from their website and Facebook page. “More and more, we’re trying to draw in younger people,” she said.

Tickets can be purchased from KHEN, The Book Haven and Free the Monkey. Tickets will also be sold at the door. All tickets are $20. Of that $20, $2 per ticket goes to the SteamPlant.

“This party celebrates the way Salida has always been  community-minded,” Matthews said. “We like to party hardy. You don’t want to miss it.”

Costumes fill the Salida SteamPlant Event Center ballroom at last year’s KHEN Halloween Bash. This is the 12th annual party and fall fundraiser (courtesy photo).