The Murphys Witch Walk was founded in 2016 by Teresa Rodriguez, owner of the Potted Plum, located at 90 Big Trees Road at the corner of Main Street, next to Friends Real Estate, in Murphys, California.
The Witch Walk idea is really not a new concept. Teresa learned about a successful witch-themed community costume party that was held in an East Bay town as a means to attract attention to local retailers.
Determining that it was a fun idea that could be implemented in Murphys to promote those retailers that are 'off the beaten trail' at the far east end of Main Street, like her Potted Plum, the Murphys Witch Walk was born as a promotional endeavor to bring more fun people to Murphys to enjoy the town’s unique shopping, wine tasting, entertainment, and dining opportunities.
It was pretty much all word-of-mouth, social media, and ‘postering’ that carried the Murphys Witch Walk promotional efforts from 2016 to 2018. In 2019, some of the support personnel who volunteered their time to produce and promote the event moved out of town. Well, with about 6 weeks before the 4th Annual Murphys Witch Walk was to take place, several business owners and Murphys residents stepped forward to help Teresa produce, promote and execute the 2019 event. Those individuals will be recognized later in this article.
The 4th Annual Murphys Witch Walk, held in October 2019, really exceeded everyone’s expectations for attendance.
The social media accounts of Facebook and Instagram really were the driving promotional force that motivated so many people to attend. Prior to a new crew of local business people taking over the reigns of the Murphys Witch Walk, one individual who had previously worked on the event set up a duplicate Facebook event page, so, at the end of the day, it was little bit harder to gauge the overall interest and event attendees after the fact.
After crunching the social media statistics, if we determine attendance just on who ‘checked in’ on Facebook, the event drew 1,100 people to the town for the October 2019 Murphys Witch Walk. Knowing that Facebook check-ins are never an accurate recording of attendance to an event, especially a non-ticketed free street fair, which is more of a gathering, conservatively we estimate there were about 1,500 attendees that passed through Murphys during the day and evening of the 2019 Murphys Witch Walk.
A good portion of the 2019 attendees had in tow children, along with their tolerant, doting, and good natured husbands and counterparts. 99.8% of the women were in costume and a huge segment of the guys were not.
Sheepishly the guys admitted the whole costumed affair was so much fun, especially after seeing their female better halves regaling in the pageantry, many of them promised they’d be in costume for the next Murphys Witch Walk.
Murphys Witch Walk Witches
Per the Murphys Business Association, recent social media data reports that 85% of the driving force behind Murphys tourism are the girls.
Yep, women are the overall critical driver of Murphys tourism by a huge percentage.
We knew those social media statistics in 2019 when the Murphys Witch Walk social media data revealed that Instagram respondents were 83.9% women and Facebook respondents were a whopping 91% women.
When you crunch those numbers, Murphys is the perfect town to host a Women’s Empowerment Event like the Murphys Witch Walk, because the audience is already built-in and just looking for another reason to come to Murphys.
So, that’s the math behind both the driving force of Murphys tourism and Murphys Witch Walk participants.
"Tolerant, doting, and good natured husband and counterpart."
Teresa Rodriguez, owner of the Potted Plum and the creator and co-owner of the Murphys Witch walk, who in 2019 was open to receiving the support and help from her Murphys neighbors to revitalize her event that drives tourism to Murphys and supports the town’s retailers.
June Andona of the Murphys Pourhouse was integral in playing a critical role in planning, producing and hosting the costume contest and raffle on their beautiful Main Street business property in October 2019. Big thanks are sincerely given to June, and her husband Nick, for decorating their business and managing to hold their sanity together as a massive coven of witches transitioned in and out of their business and on and off of their property all day long. Pretty sure they ran out of beer by the end of the day.
Ras Beekan Dan, owner and founder of the Murphys School of Music, was the guy who organized the staging, audio system and performed all the music all day long at the Murphys Pourhouse for the 2019 event. How he was able to drag all that gear, staging, and lighting around the day before, day of and day after, after playing saxophone all day long was a superhuman feat unto itself. He's the saxophonist for Leilani and the Distractions, who will be playing at the Friend's Real Estate Open House on the day of the 5th Annual Murphys Witch Walk, Saturday, October 16, 2021, from 2 pm to 5pm.
Christopher Buttner is a retired event and concert promoter and producer who moved to Murphys in mid-2015 after regularly vacationing in the area since 1999. In 2019, he was the catalyst who rallied the community to see the value in and embrace the Murphys Witch Walk as a critical family-oriented tourism promotion event that supports the Main Street retailers, wine and food service businesses. In 2021, he purchased 50% ownership of the Murphys Witch Walk and he and Teresa are developing a long range plan to grow the Murphys Witch Walk into an even bigger and more beneficial event to support the Murphys Business Community.
...Thank you for your continued support of the event and the town.
Murphys Witch Walk Festival Management
Teresa Rodriguez - The Potted Plum and Co-Owner
Christopher Buttner - Murphys Witch Walk Marketing and Creative Director and Co-Owner
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Murphys Witch Walk Sticker Sales, in part, contribute to the production costs of the Party. Right now, we're offering, three variations of stickers so you can show your Murphys Witch Walk witchy pride 24/7/365. We'll be expanding the product offering in the coming weeks. Won't you visit our store and, at worst, window shop? Keep in mind, Halloween, Christmas and Hanukkah are weeks away and these make great stocking stuffers.