The Case of the Marathon Murder
What: Dirty Dan Mystery Weekend
Where: Fairhaven Village
WHEN: 10am-5pm Sat., April 24; 10am-1:30pm Sun., April 25
Cost: $20; pick up your Murder Mystery packet upon arrival, and be prepared to follow COVID-19 guidelines
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
“Murder suspects needed” is a phrase that demands attention.
It’s also a swell way to begin a press release—as evidenced by a missive sent from Bellingham TheatreWorks last month looking for actors to audition to role-play characters for the Historic Fairhaven Association’s inaugural Dirty Dan Murder Mystery Weekend.
The event taking place April 24-25 at outdoor locales throughout Fairhaven Village will feature the theatrical types who auditioned for director Mark Kuntz over Zoom in mid-March. The eclectic cast will be interacting with participant “investigators”—that’s you, if you’re up to the challenge—to figure out whodunnit in the Case of the Marathon Murder.
Among the male suspects the general public will encounter are a beer hops farmer, fisherman, gambler, weightlifter, sculpture artist, an adult graduate to-be, a consumer of alcohol, a bicycle rider, and a gardener. Questionable females will include someone portraying the president of the garden club and others taking on the personas of a wealthy woman, a lady of the night, a mystical healer, a sickly woman, a detective, a pro tennis player, and a designer-dressed socialite.
In the staged scenario people will be investigating over the course of the weekend, one of these not-so-innocent community members killed a runner. The body was found on Saturday morning on the bench next to the statue of Dirty Dan Harris in the Fairhaven Village Green, and the criminal is still walking free. To try to solve the crime, pick up a Murder Mystery packet and begin the quest to find both the murderer and their nefarious method of execution.
Start your mission by reading the Fairhaven Observer from front to back. Photos of the aforementioned characters will be inside—as well as on display at Dirty Dan Mystery headquarters—and as you surreptitiously stroll around the village collecting clues, be prepared to encounter the suspects who are described within. The packet will also contain a map with locales where printed clues can be picked up to help solve the heinous homicide. (All locations, as well as the the scene of the crime, are within a half-mile of the Fairhaven Village Green.)
Improvisation will be required from the actors volunteering their time, but the valuable information they’ll be passing on to the community investigators will ultimately help people uncover the truth—unless, of course, they’ve been directed to lead questioners in the wrong direction.
Pay attention to what they say, collect as many of the printed clues as possible, and when you think you’ve uncovered the truth of what really happened on that fateful morning, enter a solution on the official ballot. Correct answers about who did it, and where, will be placed in a drawing for grand prizes ranging from weekend getaways to merchant gift certificates and Dirty Dan Mystery memorabilia. Incorrect ballots will be placed in a drawing for other prizes, so it’s still possible to be a winner even if you didn’t uncover the truth.
One thing participants will start the Dirty Dan Murder Mystery Weekend knowing is that even though the corpse was found near the titular character’s likeness, Dirty Dan Harris wasn’t responsible. The founder of Fairhaven died a natural death in 1890 in Angeles, and his alibi is set in stone.
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