Witchy women: Raise your brooms and money for charity at this year's Sandusky Witches Walk

If you love witches, dancing, parades, costumes and raising money for charity within your community, then the Sandusky Witches Walk is an event you won’t want to miss.  

Originally founded in 2011 by a group of local businesswomen, the Witches Walk was a way to drum up business for the downtown Sandusky area on an otherwise mild Wednesday evening. With just 20 initial participants, the original coven probably never imagined what the event would grow into today.  

Founding Witch Donna Bretz decided in 2014 that the event would be reformed into a charity event. In 2019, Supreme Witch/Statutory Agent Cora Higgins won the Supreme Witch costume contest. When Bretz decided to “pass the broom” to her, Higgins saw “an opportunity to combine my passions for youth, seniors, and community outreach with an event I love in order to raise money.” She moved the event to Saturday and continued to grow it. 

Last year, when members thought it was perhaps going to be its last, the very community it was created to serve banded together to create the event as it is today. The event raised just under $30,000 and is now an official 501 (c(3) charity organization.   

What is it:  The Witches Walk mission is to “raise funds for projects and programs that promote the growth and development for the youth of our community as well as support and honor our senior citizens who first paved the way,” Higgins says.

Sandusky residents can expect to see a parade with a special witches’ dance, costume contest, prizes, an “Enchanted Market” to shop for unique gifts in, outdoor entertainment with bands and music, and shirts to buy. This year, Higgins shares that the fire performances will be larger and there will be an escape room plus much more.

When is it: The walk, which includes a specialized Witches’ Dance, along with the Opening Spell, will begin promptly at 5 pm. Oct. 21.

How to get involved: The event is open to both men and women 18 years and older. Welcoming to all people across the nation, the event this year sold tickets as far west as Seattle and as east as Washington, D.C. With Sandusky being America's No. 1 coastal town, Higgins plans to keep the event in Sandusky and grow it each year.

Why it's important: The Supreme Witch Isacora (aka Higgins), whose daytime job is as a geriatric nurse, leads the events with a love for her community and people in it.  This event raises funds for the growth and development of youth as well as support for the seniors in the community.

Higgins serves as the public relations manager for Family Health Services, which provides safety nets for those with limited resources and serves low-income families and residents. Through this group,  a 150-year-old building in downtown Sandusky is being renovated into a medical center to help support low-income families and seniors. The center will provide quality primary care and behavioral health services along with  an outpatient lab, pharmacy and a rooftop designed for senior programs. The goal is to serve and enrich everyone living in downtown Sandusky, Higgins says.  

With the funds procured from last year’s Witches Walk, the non-profit was able to pay installation fees, buy a desktop for a kiosk area, and cover the cost of a year’s worth of internet for the Rec at Mills so that children who utilize the after-school programs could get help with homework. The walk was also able to provide thousands of meals to homebound seniors through the Erie County Senior Center. That work will continue this year as well as provide funding to the new medical center.  

Check out the fantastic videos and live feeds on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to see what the magic is all about.

To find out more and purchase tickets online visit www.sanduskywitcheswalk.com. In-person tickets will be sold at either Shores and Islands locations. Patrons do not have to participate to buy a ticket and can still have a chance at winning $2,500 and help bring the “magic” of healthcare downtown.