University of Michigan students and Ann Arbor community members gathered downtown at Bløm Meadworks Friday evening to attend the taproom’s second annual Witchy Woo Fest, a free event held in late October to celebrate Halloween. This year’s event included pumpkin painting, tarot card reading and a pop-up bakery.
Bløm Meadworks co-owner Lauren Bloom told The Michigan Daily that when she first thought of the Witchy Woo Fest last year, she intended it to be a Halloween-themed event that would be inclusive of all community members — both those who drink and those who do not.
“We wanted to provide an option for people around Halloween that was fun and light and just felt inclusive and easygoing, so people could go out and do something fun and celebrate,” Bloom said. “For them that meant, you know, painting some pumpkins and enjoying some music or watching a movie.”
Nina McDermott, owner of Seesee Healing Arts, a local meditation and spiritual center, hosted a small booth near the front of the taproom, offering individualized tarot readings to patrons. In private, 10 minute sessions, participants could choose a card at random, which McDermott would then interpret for them.
McDermott said her goal for the readings was to encourage people to open up about their thoughts and feelings in relation to the card they drew and McDermott’s commentary about it.
“My goal is always helping a person heal,” McDermott said. “So it’s always hoping that the information will just give me an answer that they have anything to share, and then it’s a combination of a way that they’ve been feeling or something they’ve been thinking about.”
Ellen’s Fine Goods, a local dessert shop in Ypsilanti, also ran a pop-up bakery for the first three hours of the event in the taproom. The pop-up had a selection of French macarons, ghost tartlets and mini chocolate cakes, among a variety of other pastries and desserts.
The event also featured a pumpkin painting station, board and card games, and Halloween movies projected across the back wall of the taproom throughout the night, including “Hocus Pocus” and “Beetlejuice.”
Environment and Sustainability graduate student Charlotte Sedlock told The Daily she frequently attends community events at Bløm Meadworks such as the Witchy Woo Fest. She said she appreciates that the taproom makes the effort to find ways to connect with residents and students alike.
“Bløm is awesome,” Sedlock said. “They have an activity every night, if you want to go. They have board games and trivia. I just saw they had a Parents’ Night and they had yoga on Sunday.”
LSA junior Lucy Dover told The Daily Friday’s event marked her first time going to BlømMeadworks. Dover said she felt the Witchy Woo offered a welcoming and relaxed environment for all of the attendees.
“You can kind of sit down and talk with friends,” Dover said. “I like the vibe here. It’s a bit more chill.”
As the evening came to a close, Bloom told The Daily she was pleased with the turnout and energy at Friday’s event.
“It was nice to see a lot of new faces that came in the door last night, and we also saw some regulars who came in,” Bloom said. “Folks seemed excited about painting pumpkins and lots of folks participated in the tarot readings. I thought, overall, people seemed happy to be there and had a good time.”
Daily News Contributor Michelle Liao can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.