Chilliwack – In the continuing battle between the City, ALC (Agricultural Land Commission) and Fantasy Farms, the annual Halloween stroll through Reapers Haunted Attraction is no more.
Gone after 27 years.
Back in July, after COVID wiped out income for Gary and Lisa Moran’s farm ie Ag-Tourism dollars from Farm Weddings, Garlic Festival and the like, the Moran’s thought they caught a break.
While they received the go-ahead from the ALC, City of Chilliwack engineering had issues with the greenhouse roof that houses many ag-tourism events and has done so since the 90’s. A recent city engineering report demanded that money be spent to upgrade the Polycarbonate plastic that is used for the roof. It was deemed a fire hazard. An expense that the Moran family is trying to understand and justify.
Gary Moran posted, Well short of a miracle Reapers will not be opening this year. But preparation are still going on for the Maze of Terror and Peteys pumpkin patch. We have been so blessed to have had our boys grow up on the farm and they have become very creative and now comes the third generation Rosie helping Dad and Grandma.
Son James Moran, who also owns Guerilla Q BBQ Food Trucks, stated:After 27 years the CITY MANAGERS OF CHILLIWACK is shutting down the most iconic haunted attraction in western Canada after getting approval from the ALR its the City that is shutting us down more details coming soon.
Gary Moran was told that after November 1, 2019, that was the end of special events. That would mean Petey’s Pumpkin Patch, Reapers Haunted House, the Garlic Festival and Petey’s Country Christmas/Christmas To Remember, would come to a screeching halt. Petey’s Country Christmas went ahead, indoors, at Chilliwack Mall.
This past July, Gary posted: received the decision on our reconsideration with the ALC and after 3 years and 3 months it is not all we asked for and some areas still need working on but we are happy that most of our farm activities will be allowed under current ALC legislation and some will fall under events but they are giving us a total of 32 so that will cover Reapers, weddings and any corporate and they are leaving it up to us to choose. The last hurdle we have is to apply for a Temporary use permit from the city that is good for 3 years with a 3-year renewal as long as we continue to meet all requirements. We will apply for this right away and thank you all for your continued support.
The Moran Family and Staff
Fantasy Farms Inc.
This is not a new controversy for Fantasy Farms and the events they hold. Some other farmers and neighbours have complained about traffic in the area. Others are simply not in favour of Agri-Tourism. In January/February of 2016, NAFDMA – North American Farmer’s Direct Marketing Association Conference, was held outside of the US for the first time. It was Vancouver/Abbotsford and the main dinner at Fantasy Farms in Chilliwack. Many American Farmers, very pro-Agri-Tourism, did not understand the push back against such tourism events that introduce the farm to many city kids.. and families.