NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodManitowoc


A ghost hunter, a Hollywood actor, and a professional pumpkin carver in Manitowoc to kick-off Windigo Fest

Posted at 6:23 PM, Oct 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-06 23:55:28-04
  • The Manitowoc Windigo Fest is one of the biggest Halloween festivals the state has to offer. It kicks off on Friday and ends on Sunday.
  • L.A. based actor, Douglas Tait is the special guest for the weekend. He will be signing autographs and talking with fans at the festival.
  • Manitowoc Director of Tourism, Courtney Hansen, says this weekend is important for Manitowoc. She expects multiple thousand people and says it will be good for businesses across town.

The Manitowoc Windigo Fest will take place this weekend. Known as one of the largest Halloween festivals in the state, the town will be welcoming visitors from all over.

Going into it's 7th year, the windigo-inspired festival was created and organized by Dawn Dabeck.

"I've been into Halloween since the womb so... like what else can we do for Halloween so here it is," Dabeck said. "But every day is Halloween in our lives."

Dabeck has worked with Manitowoc Director of Tourism, Courtney Hansen, to put on the event. Hansen says this event even helps bring visitors to other places in town.

"They'll come here, they'll go out and shop, they'll go and enjoy a drink somewhere else too," said Hansen. "It's just a really big weekend for Manitowoc."

Hansen says that the event has steadily been growing since it began, even though Covid numbers were high. This year she expects 2,000 people or more at the festival.

A big draw this year is a special guest. L.A.-based actor, Douglas Tait, who has played Freddy Kruger, the Sasquatch in Jack Link's commercials, and most notably Michael Meyer for parts of the latest Halloween movie.

"Flew in yesterday, a long day", Tait told me. "Great people here in Manitowoc. Super friendly."

Tait will be meeting fans, signing autographs, and selling merchandise. He says these events and fan interactions are part of why he loves acting.

"It jazzes me up," Tait says. "Their excitement makes me excited. They feed off of me, I feed off of them, it's a mutual thing. I walk away from these things feeling like a million bucks."

"This is such an exciting event and a perfect event to kick off October and spooky season for the entire month," Hansen added. "Everyone from the state and beyond gets to do that right here in Manitowoc, Wisconsin."

Along with Douglas, you can also meet people such as a famous ghost hunter or a professional pumpkin carver, before the festival ends on Sunday afternoon.