SHAKOPEE - In the fall of every year ValleyFair sheds its family-friendly image to become a sprawling expanse of haunted houses and spooky graveyard all filled with varieties of terrifying creatures. When the sun sets, ValleyFair becomes ValleySCARE. And, this year, ValleySCARE has a horrifying new attraction inspired by nautical nuisances that have plagued our lakes and streams: aquatic invasive species. The ride is said to be bone-chillingly scary and also surprisingly informative.
“The Forbidden Lake” is themed around a foggy shoreline area at night where a small horde of zombie fishermen absentmindedly removing boats and canoes from the lake without taking the time to check their hulls and outboard motors for ecological hitchhikers.
As the patrons move through the attraction, they encounter pools of water where zebra mussels are smothering native clams, Asian carp decimating the aquatic vegetation, and faucet snails clogging water intake pipes.”We decided to end with the sea lamprey, because those are already pretty terrifying. They’re basically spooky vampire snakes with dozens of teeth” said attraction curator, Samantha Gondolin.
Fred Duffy, an officer for the Department of Natural Resource, was very impressed with the exhibit. “Yes, this ride is very scary, but what’s even more scary is the effect these organisms have on biodiversity”, Duffy said after walking through the attraction, “Did you know that zooplankton population, in some lakes, has gone down as much as 80 percent?”
ValleySCARE runs every Friday through Saturday in October.