Ten lucky Columbia County residents will have the opportunity to win a golden ticket to visit with actress Kimberly Brown during a private meet-and-greet event during the annual Spirit of Halloweentown festivities.
The ticket giveaway was organized by the St. Helens Economic Development Corp. and announced Friday, Aug. 25, through a Facebook Live video as a way to connect Columbia County residents with Brown during her annual visit to the city.
SHEDCO organizers wanted to create an opportunity for local residents to meet with Brown, but also wanted to involve local businesses in the process. With huge crowds of visitors traveling across the country and from around the world to visit St. Helens in October, tickets for some events boast high price tags or have sold out quickly in the past, to the exclusion of Columbia County residents.
Brown starred as a teen witch in the Disney TV movie, "Halloweentown," which was filmed in St. Helens.
The ticket giveaway will work like this: Visit any participating retail shop in St. Helens in September and early October and purchase an autographed copy of the children's book, "Poppins Pumpkin Patch Parade," authored by Brown and her agent, Diane Yslas.
A total 190 autographed copies will be for sale in shops in St. Helens. Ten of those copies will contain a ticket that grants access to an exclusive meet and greet with Brown at the Nob Hill Riverview Bed and Breakfast on Sunday, Oct. 15.
In "Halloweentown," the bed and breakfast was used as the setting for Grandma Aggie's house. Grandma Aggie was played by renowned actress, Debbie Reynolds, who died last December.
"Given we are SHEDCO and targeted to the Main Street program, our efforts are focused on getting them into the businesses that are on Columbia Boulevard," Amanda Normine, a SHEDCO member, stated in an email. "That said, this entire event was created out of the love that Kimberly and her crew have for this place and out of the love that our local community has for her. With that, we want to make sure that people all over the county have access to the opportunity to get in on this."
Each ticket winner will be able to bring a guest and will be treated to a VIP experience, Normine said. A small reserve of tickets will also be distributed to community members who go unrecognized as "community heroes," and to children in the Columbia County foster care program, who might not get a chance to meet Brown otherwise, Normine explained.
The idea for the campaign was a group effort, Normine said, that came to life through collaboration with Brown.
"Our original mission was to get merchandise for our retailers and to create a locals friendly event," Normine said. "When we reached out to Kimberly's team we found that they shared our passion for this wonderful community and they were happy to oblige."
Tickets to the VIP event are also on sale at www.eventbrite.com/e/meet-and-treat-with-kimberly-tickets-37341907651. Columbia County residents can enter their zip code for a discount on ticket prices.