Sparkettes appear in court hearing after neighbors complain about Trail of Terror event site

GREAT FALLS, Mont. - In 2020, the Trail of Terror was targeted for vandalism, and this year the Sparkettes have another serious issue on their hands… one that could potentially shut them down for good.

The Sparkettes have been receiving complaints about how the property is being managed and the way it looks, and the issue has gotten so bad, it has had to be dealt with in court.

This year the Sparkettes received complaints from neighbors in the area, forcing the organization to appear for a hearing in August.

Board members have dealt with issues with the event site a couple of times already, but this issue, in particular, has become too much.

"We’re not profit, we are not lawyers. So, filling out paperwork and getting everything done... it just took a lot," said board member Cathy Korona.

Luckily the event site did not have to shut down completely, but to keep events in place, organizers say they will be forced to get a permit and put up a fence which could cost them about $3,000.

This event has been going strong for years, and Korona says they won’t stop now.

"We’re going to continue to do what we do because it's not just for us, it's for the community. Everybody comes out here... everybody you talk to... ‘oh yeah have you been out to the haunted trail yet?’, and if we don't do it there's nothing here in town... this is it."

With the Trail of Terror event being one of their biggest fundraiser events this issue is going to cause more financial damage.

"We have to pay $3,000 for a fence and $450 for a permit for one event and $450 for a permit for another event, so yeah it's going to impact us."

Right now the Sparkettes are waiting to receive letters from Unit Material and the health department, and by this week they will begin to put the fence up.

The permit will only allow the event site to be open Fridays and Saturdays from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm which means they will not be open on Halloween this year.

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