Thursday, September 26, 2013

Shocktoberfest 'Naked & Scared' Event Denied By Local Government

Looks like you won't be able to get boo'd in the buff after all this Halloween. WFMZ 69 News is reporting the permit to hold a "Naked And Scared Challenge" event at Pennsylvania's haunted Shocktoberfest attraction has been denied by the local township.

The event, which we reported on at the Paranormal Pop Culture Facebook page last week, was going to allow attendees to walk through the 22-year-old attraction in Berks County, Penn., without clothes or in underwear only.

The organizer, Pat Konopelski, said the event was inspired by the Discovery Channel show "Naked And Afraid," and thought the chance to feel vulnerable would heighten the scare factor. According to the website, the "Naked And Scared" portion would take place after the regular Shocktoberfest closed, and nude attendees would not be touched inappropriately or ever be in view of non-participating parties. It would have also been restricted to ages 18 and up.

Well, the gimmick generated a lot of international attention for the event, but also some controversy. Hotel chain Crowne Plaza removed itself as an event sponsor while others voiced concern about the appropriateness of the event.

Now here's where things get a little complicated. Shocktoberfest is set on property bifurcated by two municipalities: the Township of Spring and Borough of Sinking Spring. According to Township of Spring Manager Jay Vaughan, his municipality was under the impression that the nude portion would take place in a building resting in the Borough. He said they were "mute on the issue" as a result.

When they learned that the nude portion was no longer allowed on Borough grounds, and would be held in the Township, Vaughan said they gave Konopelski until the end of the business day yesterday to submit, in writing, a "significant change from his original application" to hold a public gathering.

Said Vaughan, Konopelski has submitted a permit for several year to hold the Shocktoberfest event, and has lived up to the requirements of said permit, but did not intimate that any changes would any changes would be made to this year's event (as in nobody told them about the bits and pieces) -- and so the Township approved the permit again.

Of course, even if Konopelski has submitted the "significant changes" to his permit last week when the nude event was announced, it still would not have likely been approved by the Township. Vaughan said the municipality requires a 30-day notice to the event's public opening to determine the "impact of health, safety and welfare on community."

As such, around 11 a.m. today, Vaughan said the Township of Spring notified Konopelski that "Naked & Scared" could not take place on Township grounds.

So Shocktoberfest will now hold an underwear version of "Naked & Scared," but that will be take place on the Borough portion of the event. As for the Borough of Sinking Spring, the municipality offices were closed and a representative could not be reached at this time.

Additionally, we are waiting for a response from Konopelski, but in a WFMZ report yesterday, the organizer said, "If a consenting adult wants to experience a haunted house with underwear or no clothing, we're in America, don't you think we should have that right?"

-Aaron Sagers

1 comments:

Dorothy said...

So, as I understand the Township's rationale, this has nothing to do with preventing possible Halloween titillation and is a procedural thing, the health and welfare impacts of nakedness being utterly unknown territory. I-dotting and T-crossing. Uh huh.