WHAT'S A ROAD RALLYE AND HOW DID IT GET STARTED?
The very first Livingston Road Rallye was held in April of '93.
This rallye was reborn from the original road rallies hosted by the Central
Illinois Corvette Association in the early 1980's.
Brian Johnston put
together the 1993 rallye and the proceeds went to the Livingston
The 1993 rallye was held on a Sunday during the day and had 14 cars
the event and was somewhat of a disappointment to the
organizers. After several discussions between Rallye
Master Brian and Miles Dudley, who also used to run the CICA Rally, it was
decided that a night rallye like the original CICA April Fools
Rally, might be more successful.
The first weekend that was available
that would give the guys enough time to work everything out was in
October. So a night rallye with a kind of a spooky feel (since it was
close to Halloween) was planned.
The CICA Rally had a graveyard stop and one even had an ape jumping
out at rallyers. Miles and Brian thought this would bring an element
of fun to their rallye so they decided to add some of the same ideas.
As best as we can remember, the rallye had a total of 26 cars for that
year's run, and while the run had no real 'theme', participants stopped
at different points and picked up different pieces of a map (one even
came from Dracula in a real exempt grave yard). The 'Rallyers' then
had to put the map together to find the ending location. Four of the cars
randomly received different pieces of the map and one of those four
received yet another piece of the map giving them different directions
along with 10 extra bonus points.
The guys also asked the Livingston Park Association, which were
the Livingston Jaycees at the time, for some help. Since all the monies
raised were going to their event, they were glad to help.
After the rallye, we realized this was way more successful than the
April one but little did we know this was just the start of something
more elaborate and successful. So another October 'night rallye' was
planned for the following year.
When October rolled around, we decided to have even more of a Halloween
theme since we would be stopping in graveyards yet again. Brian
remembered a movie he had watched called 'The Night of the Uninvited'
and thought this would be a great theme. This is where the movie
theme idea was born. The new members of the Livingston Jaycees, Katie
& Jim Spurgeon, Tom Royer, Beth Atwood, Cindy Scarsdale, Jerome
Lesicko & Tim & Laura Spires also helped out for the first time. This
was also the year Ken Schwandner joined our forces as a Rallye Master
with his great ideas and costumes.
This rallye was the introduction of keys and gatekeepers to control
traffic. Costumes, trivia, spooky stops, and the POPULAR HAY MAZE were also
introduced along with a bonfire, hot chocolate and
We had 44 cars participate this year, which at the time we thought was
outstanding. We were prepared for 50 cars and thought we would have several
packets left over.
Once again little did we know what the future would bring.
As the years progressed, we grew even larger jumping to 86 cars
then to 93 and yet again to 125 cars. It was at this point we started having
grading and traffic problems. We realized we had to cut this popular
event off at 125 cars and come up with innovative ideas to keep the
crowds and cars under control.
With each year we try to add new, fun and spooky ideas plus a special
effect or two. Over the years we have had stops such as real graveyards,
haunted houses, field roads, bon�fires, along with local restaurants and bar
stops. We also have a haunted timber / fake cemetery which replaced the real
cemeteries due to the large number of participants.
Each year volunteers are assigned jobs for such things as Grading,
Rallye Masters, Gatekeepers and scene characters. Each stop has a set up scene with live characters or special effects to give you your clue.
In 1995, we even added a short play to the beginning of the run to 'set
the scene'. In most of our runs there is a story line provided for
you in written form as well as the short play which usually includes a murder or
some form of mystery you have to solve.
We are in our 20th year and 7 years ago was the first time we raised the
price from $5.00 a person to $6.00 and then again to 7.00 to cover the increasing cost of the
production.WE HAVE NOW RAISED THE PRICE TO $8.00 PER PERSON for the 2013 run.
The proceeds each year now go toward providing Thanksgiving dinners
and a Christmas food basket to the needy during the holidays.
Without this event, this would not be possible!
Through the years we have also had several groups help us since we
have grown so large.
There is the WONDERFUL Sacred Heart Rosary & Altar Society Ladies, The
OUTSTANDING Alhambra Jaycees, The Skyriders Motor Club and not to
mention several local businesses and business owners throughout the
area. We also have volunteers each year we 'type cast'. They are
always glad to help and have a great time being a part of this event!
This event takes a lot of time and money to put together and without
the help of these people, we could not put on such a good show.
SO, HOW IS ALL THIS PUT TOGETHER YOU ASK?
Someone once asked us, Where do you 'BUY' this?
Trust us, It's... Not... BOUGHT!
Once we have a general theme set (usually from a current scary movie
or DVD release), we write a story line and have a brainstorming meeting
with the whole crew.
Then, we plan and write a play to 'set the scene'. (Rallye Master
Miles does most of this) From there we decide what characters we will
need and what costumes we have to buy, make or steal from someone's
closet. And then, of course, we decide what props will have to
buy or have built by our Prop Master Tom Royer. What an outstanding
job he does each year!
Then we set out to make the run. This is a crazy process each year as
we try to find new roads and questions to keep it fresh. We usually
put the basic run together in about 3 to 4 trips. It is from there the
entire route gets run about 12 more times forward and sdrawkcab. Then
the trivia, directional questions and clue directions are added. (This
is where Rallye Master Beth shines). It is then run again both forwards
and backwards to assure it is 100% correct. From there, the run
is usually given to 2 people to run just as you would in case we have made any
errors. It is then run yet again a day before the rallye for accuracy. (That's about 700 miles if you're keeping track.) But we pride ourselves on a perfect
run as we do not want to get people lost or confused and ruin a great
The run is then printed only 1 day before or the day of the rallye to make sure
nothing has changed. We figure we go through about 4,000 to 5,000 pieces
of paper printing each year. We usually have about 3 printers running
all day for this process. This last week of finalizing everything we
call HELL WEEK. We usually average about 4 hrs of sleep a night putting
this crazy thing together. The whole ball of wax usually takes about
2 months of meetings, shopping, planning, building, and working our
computers to the bone.
This last week is also the week where we put together the necessary 'supplies' you will need for the night. Angie Highlander and Casey Lerbo do this,
and they are very good at making sure all your packets are 100% correct
and nothing is missing. And then there is Denny Scarsdale, he is one
fine hot dog stick carver and he makes a great pot of chili. Of course
then he runs it all over town to all our stops making sure our
characters are well fed.
And in case you don't know Cindy Scarsdale, she has played every
character we have assigned to her and has done a great job at it. She
also organizes our food pantry each year and just can't wait to be assigned to play a
character. (We're just not sure why she rolls her eyes when she gets it
Of course all the members of our families have been dragged into our
web several times as well, including our children. Brandon Dudley, for
example, is our youngest Rallye Master in training. You may have seen
Brandon popping out of the ground or even 'at your service, sir' as he
guided you across the bridge into 'The Hollow'.
Then, of course, there is the Alhambra Jaycees. There is NO WAY we could
do this without these guys! The time and effort they spend helping
us brainstorm ideas and setting up scenes is invaluable. They are the
ones who provide traffic control into the park. They also set up and
oversee many of our great stops.
Have you ever wondered why we do some of the things we do?
Most everything you see us do (or sometimes don't see us do) is for a
reason. Because we have such large groups of people, plus 110 cars and only a
short amount of time, we do these things to get your blood pumped through our haunted stops.
The "keys" you give the gatekeepers are necessary so you can only go through a scene one time. The
"gatekeepers" are also help with crowd control and will keep you moving along
in an orderly manner so please pay them respect as they try to do
their very important jobs. Then there are the characters in the scenes:
most of the characters are just that, characters playing a role. 99%
of them have no idea what their clue means or what their real role has
to do with the mystery. We keep them in the dark so they cannot give
out clues to any of their friends. SO DON'T ASK THEM!
The only people that know all the workings are the Rallye Masters. Of
course, in time, so does the Grading Captains. Our Grading Captains over
the years have been Jenny Bush and Denise Royer . They do a great job, but even They only
find out the answers the night before the run. And then, of course,
there are the graders. This has been our biggest obstacle over the
years: getting all the papers graded quickly and correctly. The
graders only recieve the keys after you have left the grounds. And, of course,
we run half of you forwards through the run and half backwards to keep
traffic flow running smoothly.
All this is most of what it takes to put on a Haunted Road Rallye.
So, NO! WE HAD NO IDEA OF THE MONSTER WE WERE CREATING BACK IN OCTOBER
OF 1993 and the important role it would play in providing food baskets
to those in need in our community during the holidays. Be sure to look
back over the past years' run to get an even better idea of what it's all about.
You say you want to HELP us???
Just e-mail us. We can always use an extra warm body.