I wouldn't normally go to a children's theme park on my own. I'm a man in my 30s, so it's not really the done thing.
However, I couldn't resist a visit on my own to the Festival of the Dead at Robin Hill.
My children and Mrs Guru don't particularly enjoy scary things, whereas I liked the look of the posters and photos of the festival. Also, we coughed up a fair amount of money for annual passes for Robin Hill earlier this year and I wanted to squeeze a little more juice out of them.
And so, I set off at 8pm after putting the children to bed on an evening during the October half term.
When I arrived, Vote Pedro were halfway through their set of Mariachi style covers. I'm a big fan, after seeing them at a few events over the years. There was a good crowd gathered in the amphitheatre, many of whom were dancing with some Festival of the Dead puppets.
I didn't have a child with me, so dancing wasn't really an option. However, I enjoyed their rendition of Spice Up Your Life before moving on to do a bit more exploring.
A walk in the woods
The main part of the Festival of the Dead was based in Robin Hill's woodland, which is a rather excellent spot for such things. When I worked at Robin Hill, the woodland was just somewhere you walked through to get to another part of the park. In the last 20 years it has been transformed into somewhere with a woodland amphitheatre, woodland bars, treetop nets, multicoloured lighting and so on.
The 'journey' began by walking down the zig zag path near to the top cafe. In the darkest part of the path, a series of voices began whispering to me in the darkness. This caused me some shock and I may have said a few words out loud which shouldn't be heard in a children's theme park.
As I continued through the woodland, I was met by a series of impressively lit up skulls as well as some 'live-action' entertainment. This was performers dressed up as skeletons who seemed keen to interact with me. I skirted round this as they were busy with people who had actually brought their children with them.
At the bottom of the park, there was the sound of some thumping tunes, and a good crowd was gathered round the woodland bar. I hung around here for a little longer before heading back to see the end of Vote Pedro's set.
I'm not sure if the Festival of the Dead will return, but if it does, I will be trying to persuade the rest of the family to join me so I can join in with the dancing.
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